Federal guidance from the 2018 Farm Bill requires 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 work requirement about the SkillUP program.
The SkillUP program is a voluntary program offering SNAP participants in Missouri the opportunity to gain skills, training, or work experience to help them meet work requirements, 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 SkillUP map.
SkillUP participants can be mandatory (i.e. Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents [ABAWDs]) or volunteers. Either can choose to participate in the SkillUP Program. If the participant is interested, submit a referral to the SkillUP team as described below.
ABAWDs must participate in work or training for at least 80 hours per calendar month or they will only receive SNAP benefits for 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.
Note: Only active SNAP participants can be referred to SkillUP. ABAWDs who have used their 3 non-work months and lost eligibility should be referred to their local Missouri Job Center for other available services.
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 Individual Employment Plan (IEP) consisting of long and short-term goals. The IEP should connect the services to be provided to each participant along with desired outcomes. SkillUP providers should place assessed participants in an appropriate employment and\or training program for the participant’s skill level, experience, and career goals.
Programs offered as part of an IEP 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
When to submit a SkillUP Referral:
- If the participant indicates interest:
- During the SNAP interview or after authorization of the SNAP case.
- During any contact with the participant.
How to submit the SkillUP Referral:
- Access the Call Center – Hand off and Support site and select SkillUP Referral.
- Enter any details relevant to the participant’s needs in the comments section.
- Click “Find a Provider” to be directed to the SkillUP map, review and select a provider closest to the participant.
- Enter provider’s name and phone number from the SkillUP map in the areas indicated on the form.
- Click “Submit” to send the referral directly to the SkillUP team.
The SkillUP team will send the referral to the partner agency closest to the area the SNAP participant resides in, and can also meet their employment and training needs.