New Pilot Project Will Help 3SquaresVT Recipients Find New & Better Paying Jobs

02 March 2016

Essex, VT – In 2015, Vermont was one of ten states chosen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop and test strategies for reducing dependency on the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Vermont’s SNAP Program, called 3SquaresVT and administered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF), was awarded a three-year $8.9 million dollar grant to develop a job readiness and training pilot program for people getting benefits.

Vermont’s pilot, called Jobs for Independence (JFI), will begin accepting applications in mid-March 2016. 

“The Jobs for Independence pilot will give participants the opportunity to develop skills, overcome barriers to work, and find and keep good jobs," said DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz. “Most importantly, it will help them to rely less on government assistance and more on their own capacities for building strong futures for themselves."

Who Can Participate

All Vermonters who get 3SquaresVT benefits may be eligible to participate. Those selected for the program could get help to:

  • Resolve issues that may be keeping them from work (e.g., criminal record, mental health, substance abuse, or unstable housing)
  • Find new or better jobs
  • Gain work skills and knowledge
  • Pay for things they need to work like car repairs and work clothes
  • Earn the Governor’s Career Ready Certificate at the Community College of Vermont (CCV)
  • Achieve industry-recognized certification (e.g., CDL or IT Software)

Jobs for Independence (JFI) can help people even if they:

  • Don't have stable housing
  • Have a mental health issue
  • Are struggling with substance abuse or recovery
  • Have a criminal record

Learn More/Apply

3SquaresVT participants who are interested in JFI should call their local Community Action Agency right away to see if they qualify!

  • BROC - Community Action in Southwestern VT - (802) 775-0878, 1-800-717-2762
  • Capstone Community Action (Central VT) - (802) 479-1053, 1-800-639-1053
  • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity - (802) 388-2285 (Addison), (802) 863-6248 (Chittenden), (802) 527-7392 (Franklin & Grand Isle)
  • Northeast Kingdom Community Action - (802) 334-7316
  • Southeastern Vermont Community Action - (802) 722-4575, 1-800-464-9951


The Vermont Department for Children and Families delivers a wide array of programs and services to Vermonters in areas such as child care, child development, child protection, child support, disability determination, and economic benefits that help meet basic needs. To learn more about DCF, go to

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an equal opportunity provider and employer.