HSD launches job training program for SNAP participants
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This week, the New Mexico Human Services Department launched a program connecting SNAP participants to career and job training opportunities.
The SNAP Employment & Training Program already exists at the federal level. However, HSD officials, like Karmela Martinez, say they wanted to launch it on a state level.
“New Mexico has a lot of challenges with infrastructure and broadband and everything. So anything we can do to provide those extra opportunities for workforce support, we’re going to take advantage of,” Martinez said. “We really want to work with participants to provide a career pathway so they have that avenue to support themselves and their family.”
Funding for the program comes from the National Skills Coalition. They chose New Mexico and four other states for a grant to expand their E&T programs through local community colleges.
Now, the New Mexico Human Services Department is working with CNM to provide SNAP participants with resources like on-the-job training and apprenticeships.
“They do job coaching and interview coaching. Participants are always paired with the case manager. That’s really the piece where the community colleges come into play. That case manager assists them in exploring those career opportunities,” Martinez explained.
Opportunities in fields like nursing.
“We just recently had a SNAP participant in the Albuquerque area who completed several mock interviews with a case manager. It really did help build her confidence. She interviewed in real-time and actually received a full-time nursing position at UNMH,” Martinez said.
“That’s a really great success story and we hope that that’s just one of many to come.”