Missouri is required to offer an employment and training program for Food Stamp participants. This program is known as the Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP). The METP is a self-initiated program. Because participants volunteer for the program, compliance with the METP will not impact individuals’ Food Stamp benefits.
The University of Missouri (MU) Extension Business Development Program (BDP) is contracted to administer and implement the METP. The METP under MU BDP offers training, education, and job search assistance to Food Stamp participants.
METP employment specialists will contact the participants who volunteer. The participants will be asked to complete an online skills and interest assessment. If a participant does not have access to the Internet, they will be instructed to go to a career center, public library, county Extension center, or any other location with computer access to complete the assessment.
When assessment results are received by the METP office, the employment specialists will contact the participant and conduct a telephone intake questionnaire. Based on the results of the assessment and questionnaire, the employment specialist will work with the Food Stamp participant to design an employment plan to move the participant into sustainable employment.
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.
Each participant is expected to spend a minimum of 12 hours per month on their employment plan to continue to receive METP services, although actual hours may vary according to each participant’s needs.
The METP will offer a focused approach, with one-on-one case management for the Food Stamp participants who volunteer for the program. This will offer greater opportunities for participants to be successful in finding sustainable employment. The MU BDP also has a management information system in place for tracking participant involvement and results, to help guide future METP service offerings.