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USDA Under Secretary praises DHS-Goodwill partnershipDate: 09/27/2016
LITTLE ROCK – Kevin Concannon, the Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, visited Little Rock on Thursday, Sept. 21.
Concannon toured the Goodwill Industries of Arkansas headquarters where he lauded the possibilities that will be presented through a new Arkansas Department of Human Services-Goodwill partnership that supports efforts to provide education and job training to beneficiaries in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He said he is anxious to watch partnerships like this provide needed support for SNAP beneficiaries that will improve their lives.
“What can we do to help them become less dependent on us? That’s the ultimate goal,” Concannon said. “For me, the motivation isn’t so much we hope our caseloads go down - it’s more about positioning people differently. The motivation for me is to enable people to be more self-sufficient.”
The primary principle of SNAP Employment and Training programs are to provide services that help participants eventually create their own success and to make them more job-ready. Most notably, the program will assist single moms, persons who were once incarcerated and adults on SNAP who aspire to get a GED or learn a specialized skill.
Goodwill is funding half of the project and that money is matched by USDA so no Arkansas State General Revenue will be expended.
SNAP is under the umbrella of the DHS Division of County Operations, which is supervised by Mary Franklin.
“This employment and training program is an endeavor that we’re excited about and are confident will be extremely successful,” Franklin said. “The opportunities that are provided will help many Arkansans on SNAP, and give them genuine hope for an even better standard of life.”
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas CEO Brian Itzkowitz (from left) gives a tour of their Scott Hamilton facility recently to SNAP Southwest Division Director Dwight Crudup, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannan, and Arkansas Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe.