Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Subcommittee Chairman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson: Nutrition Subcommittee: The Next Farm Bill: Pathways to Success for SNAP Households

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Washington, July 18, 2017 | comments

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning, and welcome to today’s Nutrition Subcommittee hearing. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to be here, particularly our three witnesses.

As you know, over the past two and a half years the committee has undertaken a comprehensive review of SNAP. The review has helped provide members with a better understanding of SNAP, the population it serves, how it is administered and ways it can be improved. While witnesses in previous hearings have touched on education and employment pathways for SNAP households, today’s discussion is dedicated to examining ways for eligible SNAP households to improve their education and labor force involvement as they aim for independence.

Career pathways are not a new approach to helping individuals move up the economic ladder and out of poverty. But there are new avenues to preparing work-capable SNAP recipients for employment and education. Pathway approaches, which we will hear about today, reorient existing education and employment services from endless disconnected programs to a structure that syncs employer needs with individuals’ education, training and employment needs. This cohesive approach brings together resources, funding, data, policies, partnerships, and perhaps most importantly, shared performance measures that continue to allow for the development, scaling and sustainability of these pathway programs.

My work with the Career and Technical Education Caucus has enhanced my awareness of the importance of career and technical education as we work to advance policies that improve skilled labor education and support job growth. I share that same passion here and hope to discuss and explore ways to couple services with employment and training to ensure our work-capable SNAP recipients move to a sustainable point of self-reliance.

Again, I want to thank all of our witnesses for sharing their time and expertise. I now recognize Mr. McGovern for any opening comments he would like to make.   

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