The Executive Assistant Secretary for Human Services tours the Bidwell Training Center, a Pittsburgh program that helps SNAP recipients learn job skills and find careers

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Today, Department of Human Services (DHS) Deputy Executive Secretary Andrew Barnes visited the Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh, a SNAP 50/50 site that provides specific job training and creates career paths. access to employment for people who receive food aid through the supplementary programme. Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.

“DHS seeks to help Pennsylvanians live with dignity and safety by ensuring they can meet their most basic needs, but that shouldn’t be where our work stops,” Barnes said. . “We are always looking for ways to help the people we serve take an economic step forward, and employment and training partners like Bidwell are doing an incredible job of providing the support people need to help Pennsylvanians. invest in themselves and their future.”

SNAP 50/50 sites are partnerships between nonprofit organizations, the United States Department of Agriculture, and state-level DHS. Nonprofits leverage their funding with matching funds from the federal government to provide job-specific training for people receiving SNAP benefits. SNAP 50/50 program participants gain skills through program completion that help them find employment and excel in career paths such as culinary arts, hospitality, banking, healthcare and skilled labor – in in-demand fields with well-paying jobs. The programs also help build job placement and job retention skills, supports that can help people adjust to employment and equip themselves for success in their new careers.

SNAP 50/50 partnerships are free to the Commonwealth and create great value by helping participants learn in-demand skills that can help them find career paths and leave public assistance like SNAP and achieve self-sufficiency. . By helping participants integrate into the labor market, SNAP 50/50 supports communities in need of skilled workers and supports infrastructure and the broader labor economy.

There are currently 28 SNAP 50/50 programs in Pennsylvania, offering a different range of education and training opportunities. Learn more about SNAP 50/50 PA partnerships here.

For more than 50 years, the Bidwell Training Center (BTC) has provided free pathways out of poverty to qualified Pennsylvania residents. BTC offers six educational programs that reflect the Pittsburgh area’s current workforce needs. As reported in BTC’s 2018 annual report, their placement rate was 85%. Their innovative approach to partnering with industries in the region to adapt educational programs to better help transitioning adults find careers is part of an educational model that is being replicated around the world.

For more information on DHS employment and training programs, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Brandon Cwalina – [email protected]

# # #

Milton S. Rodgers