Federal guidance from the 2018 Farm Bill requires that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants be offered information on employment and training options to help meet work requirement(s). Staff must inform participants who do not meet an exemption from the SkillUP program and submit a referral form to the SkillUP email address.
The SkillUP program is a voluntary program which offers SNAP participants in Missouri the opportunity to gain skills, training or work experience that can help them meet work requirement(s), obtain gainful employment, and reduce dependency on public assistance benefits.
SkillUP is offered through hundreds of partner agencies across Missouri, which can be found on the employment and training program map, SkillUP map.
SkillUP participants can be mandatory (i.e. able-bodied adults without dependents— or ABAWDs) or volunteers. Either can choose to participate in the SkillUP Program.
ABAWDs must participate in work or training for at least 80 hours per calendar month or they will only receive SNAP benefits for three (3) months. ABAWDs receive a letter in the mail informing them of the SkillUP program approximately a week after they are approved for SNAP Benefits. ABAWDs are limited to which SkillUP provider they may use. Staff can assist ABAWDs in locating the correct SkillUP provider by visiting on.mo.gov/skillup.
Staff should inform volunteers of the SkillUP program. Volunteers who choose to participate in the SkillUP program are not required to meet a minimum number of hours per month and may use any SkillUP provider.
SkillUP staff will work with the SNAP participant to complete an Employment Plan (EP) that consists of long and short term goals. The EP should connect the services to be provided to each participant along with desired outcomes. SkillUP providers should place assessed participants in a component that is appropriate for the participant’s skill level, experience, and career goals.
Programs offered as components of an employment plan may include:
- personal financial management education
- job search education
- business skills training
- job retention training and career services
- short term training programs
SkillUP offers a focused approach, with one-on-one case management for individuals receiving SNAP who choose to participate with SkillUP. This offers greater opportunities for participants to be successful in finding sustainable employment.
SkillUP – Referral Process
How and when to submit a SkillUP Referral:
- During the SNAP interview or after authorization of the SNAP case
- Use the IM-5SkillUP Referral Form located in the IM Forms Manual to refer the participant to the closest provider using the SkillUP map
- Complete the form with as much detail as possible about the SNAP participant, including the DCN
- Select your organization and provide your contact information
- Enter any details relevant to the participants needs in the additional participant information section
- Email the referral form to: SkillUP.Missouri@dss.mo.gov
The referral is sent to the partner agency closest to the area the SNAP participant resides in and that can meet their employment and training needs.