employment and training program
(4) Employment and training.— (A) In general.— (i) Implementation .— Each State agency shall implement an employment and training program designed by the State agency, in consultation with the State workforce development board, or, if the State demonstrates that consultation with private employers or employer organizations would be more effective or efficient, in consultation with private employers or employer organizations, and approved by the Secretary for the purpose of assisting members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program in gaining skills, training, work, or experience that will— (I) increase the ability of the household members to obtain regular employment; and (II) meet State or local workforce needs. (ii) Statewide workforce development system .— Each component of an employment and training program carried out under this paragraph and implemented to meet the purposes of clause (i) shall be delivered through a statewide workforce development system, unless the component is not available locally through such a system. (B) Definitions .— In this chapter: (i) Employment and training program .— The term “employment and training program” means a program that contains case management services such as comprehensive intake assessments, individualized service plans, progress monitoring, or coordination with service providers and one or more of the following components, except that the State agency shall retain the option to apply employment requirements prescribed under this clause to a program applicant at the time of application: (I) Supervised job search programs that occur at State-approved locations at which the activities of participants shall be directly supervised and the timing and activities of participants tracked in accordance with guidelines issued by the State. (II) Job search training programs that include, to the extent determined appropriate by the State agency, reasonable job search training and support activities that may consist of employability assessments, training in techniques to increase employability, job placement services, or other direct training or support activities, including educational programs, determined by the State agency to expand the job search abilities or employability of those subject to the program. (III) Workfare programs operated under section 2029 of this title . (IV) Programs designed to improve the employability of household members through actual work experience or training, or both, and to enable individuals employed or trained under such programs to move promptly into regular public or private employment, including subsidized employment and apprenticeships. An employment or training experience program established under this clause shall— (aa) not provide any work that has the effect of replacing the employment of an individual not participating in the employment or training experience program; and (bb) provide the same benefits and working conditions that are provided at the job site to employees performing comparable work for comparable hours. (V) Educational programs or activities to improve basic skills and literacy, or otherwise improve employability, including educational programs determined by the State agency to expand the job search abilities or employability of those subject to the program under this paragraph. (VI) Programs designed to increase the self-sufficiency of recipients through self-employment, including programs that provide instruction for self-employment ventures. (VII) Programs intended to ensure job retention by providing job retention services, if the job retention services are provided for a period of not less than 30 days but not more than 90 days after an individual who received employment and training services under this paragraph gains employment. (VIII) Programs and activities under clause (iv) of section 2025(h)(1)(F) of this title that the Secretary determines, based on results from the independent evaluations conducted under clause (vii)(I) of such section, have the most demonstrable impact on the ability of participants to find and retain employment that leads to increased household income and reduced reliance on public assistance. (IX) As approved by the Secretary or the State under regulations issued by the Secretary, other employment, educational and training programs, projects, and experiments, such as a supported work program, aimed at accomplishing the purpose of the employment and training program. (ii) Workforce partnership.— (I) In general .— The term “workforce partnership” means a program that— (aa) is operated by— (AA) a private employer, an organization representing private employers, or a nonprofit organization providing services relating to workforce development; or (BB) an entity identified as an eligible provider of training services under section 122(d) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ( 29 U.S.C. 3152(d) ); (bb) the Secretary certifies, or the State agency certifies to the Secretary— (AA) subject to subparagraph (N)(ii), would assist participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program in gaining high-quality, work-relevant skills, training, work, or experience that will increase the ability of the participants to obtain regular employment; (BB) subject to subparagraph (N)(ii), would provide participants with not less than 20 hours per week of training, work, or experience under subitem (AA); (CC) would not use any funds authorized to be appropriated by this chapter; (DD) would provide sufficient information, on request by the State agency, for the State agency to determine that participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program are fulfilling any applicable work requirement under this subsection or subsection (o); (EE) would be willing to serve as a reference for participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for future employment or work-related programs; and (FF) meets any other criteria established by the Secretary, on the condition that the Secretary shall not establish any additional criteria that would impose significant paperwork burdens on the workforce partnership; and (cc) is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), if applicable. (II) Inclusion .— The term “workforce partnership” includes a multistate program. (C) The State agency may provide that participation in an employment and training program may supplement or supplant other employment-related requirements imposed on those subject to the program. (D) (i) Each State agency may exempt from any requirement for participation in any program under this paragraph categories of household members. (ii) Each State agency may exempt from any requirement for participation individual household members not included in any category designated as exempt under clause (i). (iii) Any exemption of a category or individual under this subparagraph shall be periodically evaluated to determine whether the exemption continues to be valid. (E) Requirements for participation for certain individuals.— (i) In general .— Each State agency shall establish requirements for participation by individuals not exempt under subparagraph (D) in one or more employment and training programs under this paragraph, including the extent to which any individual is required to participate. (ii) Variation .— The requirements under clause (i) may vary among participants. (iii) Application to workforce partnerships .— To the extent that a State agency requires an individual to participate in an employment and training program, the State agency shall consider an individual participating in a workforce partnership to be in compliance with the employment and training requirements. (F) (i) The total hours of work in an employment and training program carried out under this paragraph required of members of a household, together with the hours of work of such members in any program carried out under section 2029 of this title , in any month collectively may not exceed a number of hours equal to the household’s allotment for such month divided by the higher of the applicable State minimum wage or Federal minimum hourly rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 [ 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1) ]. (ii) The total hours of participation in such program required of any member of a household, individually, in any month, together with any hours worked in another program carried out under section 2029 of this title and any hours worked for compensation (in cash or in kind) in any other capacity, shall not exceed one hundred and twenty hours per month. (iii) Any individual voluntarily electing to participate in a program under this paragraph shall not be subject to the limitations described in clauses (i) and (ii). (G) The State agency may operate any program component under this paragraph in which individuals elect to participate. (H) Federal funds made available to a State agency for purposes of the component authorized under subparagraph (B)(i)(V) shall not be used to supplant non-Federal funds used for existing services and activities that promote the purposes of this component. (I) (i) The State agency shall provide payments or reimbursements to participants in programs carried out under this paragraph, including individuals participating under subparagraph (G), for— (I) the actual costs of transportation and other actual costs (other than dependent care costs), that are reasonably necessary and directly related to participation in the program; and (II) the actual costs of such dependent care expenses that are determined by the State agency to be necessary for the participation of an individual in the program (other than an individual who is the caretaker relative of a dependent in a family receiving benefits under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) in a local area where an employment, training, or education program under title IV of such Act [ 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] is in operation), except that no such payment or reimbursement shall exceed the applicable local market rate. Individuals subject to the program under this paragraph may not be required to participate if dependent costs exceed the limit established by the State agency under this subclause or other actual costs exceed any limit established under subclause (I). (ii) In lieu of providing reimbursements or payments for dependent care expenses under clause (i), a State agency may, at its option, arrange for dependent care through providers by the use of purchase of service contracts or vouchers or by providing vouchers to the household. (iii) The value of any dependent care services provided for or arranged under clause (ii), or any amount received as a payment or reimbursement under clause (i), shall— (I) not be treated as income for the purposes of any other Federal or federally assisted program that bases eligibility for, or the amount of benefits on, need; and (II) not be claimed as an employment-related expense for the purposes of the credit provided under section 21 of title 26 . (J) The Secretary shall promulgate guidelines that (i) enable State agencies, to the maximum extent practicable, to design and operate an employment and training program that is compatible and consistent with similar programs operated within the State, and (ii) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that employment and training programs are provided for Indians on reservations. (K) Limitation on funding .— Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, the amount of funds a State agency uses to carry out this paragraph (including funds used to carry out subparagraph (I)) for participants who are receiving benefits under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) shall not exceed the amount of funds the State agency used in fiscal year 1995 to carry out this paragraph for participants who were receiving benefits in fiscal year 1995 under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Act ( 42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). (L) The Secretary shall ensure that State agencies comply with the requirements of this paragraph and section 2020(e)(19) of this title . (M) The facilities of the State public employment offices and other State agencies and providers carrying out activities under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [ 29 U.S.C. 3111 et seq.] may be used to find employment and training opportunities for household members under the programs under this paragraph. (N) Workforce partnerships.— (i) Certification .— In certifying that a program meets the requirements of subitems (AA) and (BB) of subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb) to be certified as a workforce partnership, the Secretary or the State agency shall require that the program submit to the Secretary or State agency sufficient information that describes— (I) the services and activities of the program that would provide participants with not less than 20 hours per week of training, work, or experience under those subitems; and (II) how the program would provide services and activities described in subclause (I) that would directly enhance the employability or job readiness of the participant. (ii) Supplement, not supplant .— A State agency may use a workforce partnership to supplement, not to supplant, the employment and training program of the State agency. (iii) Participation .— A State agency— (I) shall— (aa) maintain a list of workforce partnerships certified under subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb); and (bb) not less frequently than at certification and recertification, provide to a household member subject to work requirements under subsection (d)(1) or subsection (o), electronically or by other means, the list described in item (aa); but (II) may not require any member of a household participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program to participate in a workforce partnership. (iv) Effect.— (I) In general .— A workforce partnership shall not replace the employment or training of an individual not participating in the workforce partnership. (II) Selection .— Nothing in this subsection or subsection (o) affects the criteria or screening process for selecting participants by a workforce partnership. (v) Limitation on reporting requirements .— In carrying out this subparagraph, the Secretary and each applicable State agency shall limit the reporting requirements of a workforce partnership to— (I) on notification that an individual is receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, notifying the applicable State agency that the individual is participating in the workforce partnership; (II) identifying participants who have completed or are no longer participating in the workforce partnership; (III) identifying changes to the workforce partnership that result in the workforce partnership no longer meeting the certification requirements of the Secretary or the State agency under subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb); and (IV) providing sufficient information, on request by the State agency, for the State agency to verify that a participant is fulfilling any applicable work requirements under this subsection or subsection (o). (O) Referral of certain individuals.— (i) In general .— In accordance with such regulations as may be issued by the Secretary, with respect to any individual who is not eligible for an exemption under paragraph (2) and who is determined by the operator of an employment and training program component to be ill-suited to participate in that employment and training program component, the State agency shall— (I) refer the individual to an appropriate employment and training program component; (II) refer the individual to an appropriate workforce partnership, if available; (III) reassess the physical and mental fitness of the individual under paragraph (1)(A); or (IV) to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate with other Federal, State, or local workforce or assistance programs to identify work opportunities or assistance for the individual. (ii) Process .— In carrying out clause (i), the State agency shall ensure that an individual undergoing and complying with the process established under that clause shall not be found to have refused without good cause to participate in an employment and training program.