January 14, 2019 Duc Tinh

WINSTED, CT – January 10, 2019 – In October 2018, Northwestern Connecticut Community College’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) entered its fifth year at the College in Winsted.  Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the CT Department of Social Services, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food-purchasing assistance for low-income individuals and families living in the United States.  SNAP Employment & Training programs were created to help recipients gain skills, training, or experience to increase their ability to obtain regular employment.

The program at NCCC was opened up in 2017, to allow participants from the predominantly rural northwest CT communities to access credit-bearing programs.  Last October, President Mark Ojakian of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), announced that CSCU has expanded its partnership with the CT Department of Social Services and became the first state in New England to offer free classes to anyone eligible for SNAP at all of its 12 community colleges.  Individuals who qualify for SNAP can now complete relevant coursework for free in over 60 programs with high industry demand including Advanced Manufacturing, Allied Health, and Emergency Medical Response.

Erin Kennedy, NCCC’s SNAP Coordinator affirms, “We serve between 50 and 60 people annually through the SNAP Employment & Training grant, and the training we provide is designed to fit the unique job market of Northwest CT. This relationship benefits both the job seeker and area businesses. We recently expanded to include Associate degree programs and manufacturing courses.”  Below is a listing of Free Career Training Opportunities that individuals from households receiving SNAP or “Food Stamps” assistance may receive at NCCC at no cost:

Workforce Development Courses

Certified Nurse Aide, CNA

Office Support Professional

Central Sterile Processing Technician *NEW*

Manufacturing Solderer

Emergency Medical Technician EMT

Pharmacy Technician

Manufacturing & CNC Machining *NEW*

Credit-Bearing Programs

Computer Network Support Specialist Computer Systems Technology (A.S.)

Medical Records and Health Information Technician Health Information and Reimbursement Specialist (Certificate)

Web Developer Computer Science Studies (A.S.)

Veterinary Technologist and Technician Veterinary Technology (A.S.)

Preschool Teacher Early Childhood Education (A.S.)

Psychiatric Technician Human Services (A.S. & Certificate)

Medical Assistant Medical Assisting (A.S.)

Nurse Nursing (A.S.)

Coordinator Kennedy reveals that participants’ tuition, textbooks, school supplies and other expenses are covered by the program She also states that  extra academic help is available at the Academic Skills and Student Success Center at NCCC,  In addition, referrals are provided for resume writing, job search and interviewing skills in the participants’ home communities

Just before Christmas, President Donald Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill.  Critical for community college students, the $867 billion bill renews through 2023 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and a range of other U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs.   Importantly, the bill provides a modest increase in funding for state SNAP employment and training (E&T) programs.  It also includes amendments intended to strengthen SNAP E&T, which helps states and other partners provide access to education and training for SNAP recipients.

In beckoning to all eligible participants of the NCCC SNAP Employment & Training programs, Erin Kennedy proclaims, “This is the year your career dreams come true.”

For more information about the SNAP program at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, please contact Erin Kennedy, SNAP Coordinator, at (860) 738-6419 or by email:ekennedy@nwcc.edu.