LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts dished praise Wednesday on a federally funded job-training program that helps Nebraskans on food stamps pay for textbooks, transportation and other services to help them get higher-paying jobs.
Ricketts singled out the SNAP Next Step Employment and Training program at a news conference, calling it a “life-changing” initiative that assists several dozen recipients a year.
The program is jointly administered by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for the state, and the Nebraska Department of Labor, which provides job coaches to recipients. State officials said SNAP recipients often need help writing a resume, paying for textbooks to earn a degree, or figuring out what they want to do as a career.
Ricketts said the voluntary program has been in place since 2016 and has helped 39 families in the current fiscal year. He said it’s particularly important given Nebraska’s low unemployment rate and 50,000 job openings listed in a state database.