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The Commons
Life and Work

Pilot project will help 3SquaresVT recipients find new, better paying jobs

3SquaresVT participants interested in Jobs for Independence should call Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) to see if they qualify. In Windham County, contact Elizabeth McEwen at 802-376-0362 or

Originally published in The Commons issue #399 (Wednesday, March 15, 2017).

WESTMINSTER—The state Department for Children and Families has been awarded a three-year, $8.9 million grant to develop a job readiness and training pilot program for people getting benefits.

The state program, “Jobs for Independence,” began accepting applications at the end of February from Vermonters who get 3SquaresVT benefits.

The program helps participants “ develop skills, overcome barriers to work, and find and keep good jobs,” Department for Children and Families Commissioner Ken Schatz said in a news release.

Jobs for Independence can help people even if they: don’t have stable housing; have a mental-health issue; are struggling with substance abuse or recovery; or have a criminal record.

Those selected can get help to resolve issues that might be keeping them from work, find new or better jobs, gain work skills and knowledge, pay for things they need to work (such as car repairs and work clothes), earn the Governor’s Career Ready Certificate at the Community College of Vermont, and achieve industry-recognized career certification.

In 2015, Vermont was one of 10 states chosen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and test strategies for reducing dependency on the national SNAP program.

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