Gov. Ricketts unveils program to connect SNAP clients with job o - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Gov. Ricketts unveils program to connect SNAP clients with job opportunities

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Governor Ricketts spoke this morning about expanding a new program across the state to help clients overcome barriers.

It's a collaboration between the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services.

They'll meet with participants of the SNAP program, more commonly known as food stamps.

They want to provide connections to employment, and teach job interview skills.

"I think it also demonstrates that as we think about how we help people, we shouldn't just be focused on today and the now, but how can we think more strategically about how we can help people long term," said Governor Ricketts. 

Governor Ricketts says this is another way to help Nebraska companies grow.

This started as a pilot program last year in Grand Island and helped 27 families reduce reliance on SNAP, or get off benefits entirely.

"DHHS through this program provides nutritional resources to assist our families, our clients who have lower incomes. And DOL on the other hand has the expertise to help people find jobs to improve their incomes," said DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips. 

The program expanded to Hastings on July 1st, and plans to work with Columbus by September and Norfolk in May 2018.

"Sometimes people are under employed. They don't believe maybe they have the skills for a job. They see that advertisement where they see that 'we're hiring' and they don't believe that they possibly have the skills to do that job," said Jenny Pokorney with Principal Financial Group. 

The CEO of DHHS says this will eventually be statewide.

Officials say they wanted to start in smaller communities, and perfect the system before getting into bigger cities like Lincoln and Omaha.

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