Local and state agencies are teaming up to bring a new program to eight Eastern Kentucky counties that they hope will help increase employment among residents who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formally known as Food Stamps.
Partners in the Paths 2 Promise pilot project include the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment branded as the Kentucky Career Centers (KCC), Kentucky Adult Education (KYAE), and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).
Partners and employers in the Promise Zone counties, which include Bell, Harlan, Clay Letcher, Leslie, Perry, Knox, and Whitley counties, will coordinate to help educate and skill up participants through work-based learning opportunities, internships, and on-the-job-training (OJT), as well as educational and training programs.
Eligible participants in the pilot include current SNAP recipient work registrants who are deemed eligible by DCBS. Involvement in the program is voluntary and participants will not lose benefits if they decline to participate in Paths 2 Promise.
SNAP work registrants will be able to enroll for one of the open slots in the program. Participants will be randomly split into expanded services and general services categories. Once assigned, participants in the expanded group will begin the process of intensive career advising services with a personal career navigator to create a personalized career plan. Then, a team of experts, including a success coach, will help support the participant in meeting their goals outlined in the career plan.
If you have any questions regarding the program or how you can be enrolled, contact your local Kentucky Career Center at one of the following locations:
- Bell or Whitley Co. – Martha Williams, 606-337-3044, ex 207; • Knox County – KCEOC KY Career Center Jobsight- Candace Smith, 606-546-2639, ex 16
Potential participants can also contact Kentucky Adult Education centers in Bell, Harlan, Clay, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, and Whitley counties, or a Paths 2 Promise Success Coach at Hazard Community and Technical College, Southeast Community and Technical College, or Somerset Community and Technical College. You can also register online at www.paths2promise.com.
The Paths 2 Promise pilot study is a SNAP and Employment & Training national research project designed to discover what helps unemployed and low-wage working SNAP recipients increase their earnings and advance in the workplace. Results of the study will be used to help shape future employment and training programs locally and nationally.