Newly Launched Cohort of Mission-Driven Businesses Will be Equipped to Provide Employment & Training Services for Thousands of SNAP Recipients Nationwide


Lori Warren, Director of Marketing & Communications 

[email protected] | (415) 561-6683


August 23, 2021

With support from USDA, REDF and partners will provide 22 employment social enterprises with customized training to become SNAP E&T partners supporting workforce reentry and economic inclusion

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Recognizing the immense need for quality employment and training services for SNAP recipients seeking to reenter the workforce, REDF has launched an innovative new program to equip employment social enterprises to become Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) providers. Twenty-two mission-driven businesses across 10 states have been selected for the program’s inaugural Technical Assistance Cohort, which will receive specialized assistance to create or significantly expand their capacity to support SNAP clients as SNAP E&T third-party partners.

Employment social enterprises (ESEs) are purpose-driven businesses that provide training, jobs, and supportive services to people overcoming workforce barriers, including justice-impacted individuals who are ready to work but are often shut out of opportunity. With deep expertise and proven practices in helping people to overcome workforce barriers and biases, participating ESEs bring tremendous strengths to the SNAP E&T program, which helps SNAP clients access and succeed in employment.

“By connecting the employment social enterprise sector with existing SNAP programs, mission-driven businesses across the country will be able to provide quality jobs and support to thousands of people seeking to regain stability during the economic recovery,” said Greg Ericksen, REDF’s Director of Government Partnerships and Policy. “Becoming a SNAP E&T partner allows employment social enterprises to access a sustainable funding source, expand their organizational capacity, and serve clients more effectively.”

The 2021 SNAP E&T Technical Assistance Cohort includes:

• Bayaud Enterprises, Denver, CO

• Bridgeways, Everett, WA

• Chester County Food Bank, Exton, PA

• Columbia Industries - Opportunity Kitchen, Kennewick, WA

• Conservation Corps of Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

• Covenant House California, Alameda County, CA

• Crossroads Campus, Nashville, TN

• Downtown Women's Center, Los Angeles, CA

• Focus Points Family Resource Center, Denver, CO

• Food Shift, Earth Island Institute, Berkeley, CA

• Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland, Canton, OH

• Juma Ventures, San Francisco, CA

• LA Conservation Corps, Los Angeles, CA

• Mile High Workshop, Aurora, CO

• MY House, Wasilla, AK

• Neighborhood Industries, Fresno, CA

• New Earth Organization, Culver City, CA

• New Moms, Chicago, IL

• Opportunity Construction LLC, Steelton, PA

• Project Return, Inc., Nashville, TN

• The Light House, Annapolis, MD

• Together We Bake, Alexandria, VA

Over the next year, ESEs in the cohort will receive a combination of specialized training, technical assistance, and peer mentorship. Group and individual technical assistance will be delivered by REDF partners Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). Peer-to-peer and mentorship opportunities, as well as opportunities for agencies and cohorts to identify best practices for partnerships, will also be available to all participating ESEs.

“SJI, along with its partners from REDF and CEO, looks forward to working side by side with a dynamic group of employment social enterprise programs to pursue the opportunities available through the USDA’s SNAP E&T program and to expand and strengthen services for participants,” said SJI’s Senior Consultant, Nick Codd.

“SNAP Employment and Training allows CEO to offer work experience and skills training to justice impacted individuals in 31 communities nationwide. We are excited to partner with REDF and Seattle Jobs Initiative to increase and strengthen SNAP E&T partnerships with peer employment social enterprises,” said Sam Schaeffer, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Employment Opportunities. “Access to SNAP E&T will help ensure that more individuals impacted by the criminal legal system will get access to basic nutritional assistance, have the chance to get a job, and prosper in their community.”

The Technical Assistance Cohort is part of a program funded by a $1.2 million grant from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to expand employment social enterprises’ capacity to provide on-the-job training and work experience to SNAP participants. In addition to customized training through the cohort, over the next three years, REDF, SJI, and CEO will provide technical assistance to up to 400 ESEs through its SNAP E&T webinar trainings.


REDF (the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) is a pioneering venture philanthropy accelerating a national movement of employment social enterprises – mission-driven, revenue-generating businesses

that invest the money they make into helping people striving to overcome employment barriers get jobs, keep jobs, and build a better life. Independent research shows this approach works. It leads to greater economic security and mobility and a significant rate of return to society—$2.23 in benefits for every $1 invested. For more information, visit

Th... Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is the largest national provider of employment services for people coming home from incarceration. CEO is 501(c)3 nonprofit and currently operates in 30 sites across 11 states.

Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) is an outcome- and equity-focused, industry-driven workforce intermediary with 23 years of experience coordinating workforce systems, services, and partnerships between government, community-based organizations, education and training institutions, business, and industry. SJI’s vision is to help (1) individuals achieve self-sufficiency, (2) equity-minded organizations and agencies achieve success with their programs, and (3) workforce development and education systems better address social equity issues and serve the needs of communities and businesses. To meet this vision, SJI combines regional programs with regional and national research and consulting/technical assistance.