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Welcome to the Washington State Basic Food Employment & Training Resource Website

Program Overview

The Washington State Basic Food Employment and Training (BFE&T or BFET) program provides job search, job search training, self-directed job search, educational services, skills training, and other employment opportunities to Basic Food (SNAP) recipients who are not participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) WorkFirst work program.  Services are provided through community or technical colleges and/or community based organizations (CBO).

BF E&T is an important part of the state’s comprehensive workforce development system serving the needs of low-income individuals, displaced workers, and employers by encouraging financial independence from public assistance through skill acquisition, personal responsibility and gainful employment.

Community Impact

As of Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2014, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in collaboration with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) operates the BFE&T program by partnering with 31 CBOs and 34 community and technical colleges statewide in Washington State. BFE&T provides employability assessments and a menu of services to eligible participants.

These services included:  

  • Assessment
  • Case management
  • Job readiness training
  • Basic skills/ESL training (e.g., literacy, math, vocational ESL, high school equivilancy preparation)
  • Vocational training, job search assistance, job placement, and support services (e.g., transportation, child care, housing, clothing, and skill/wage progression)

It’s important to remember that not all BFE&T partner agencies provide all of these services.  Many agencies partner with other agencies to serve participants in order to provide better and more lasting outcomes.

Since BFE&T began in 2005, more than 45,000 individuals receiving food benefits have been served with employment training and support services.

The program has brought in over 30 million new dollars to local nonprofits and Community & Technical Colleges to deliver program specific services to Basic Food recipients.

Outcome data for people who began BFE&T services during the 3rd calendar quarter of 2010, tracked for 2 years after enrollment in BFE&T, shows that 72% obtained employment with a median hourly wage over $11.00 per hour.

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