Supportive Services Academy welcomes five states for 2020

By Michael Richardson, January 15, 2020

National Skills Coalition is pleased to announce the five state teams that have been selected to participate in our 2019-2020 Supportive Services Academy: Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Oregon.

Through the Academy, state teams will advance state policies to expand access to supportive services so that people with lower incomes can complete education and training programs. Teams will work together along with ongoing support from NSC and will have opportunities to learn from subject matter experts and practitioner experts and participate in peer-to-peer learning.

The cost of participating in skills training goes beyond tuition or costs of a training course and includes non-tuition costs like transportation, childcare, books and supplies, equipment, etc. For too many people with low incomes – particularly people balancing the costs of training with family expenses —those costs present huge obstacles to accessing and completing a postsecondary training program.

Federal human services programs – e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) – can provide these critical supportive services. Both SNAP E&T and TANF can provide education and training to recipients of SNAP food assistance and TANF cash assistance respectively. CCDBG can help provide critical assistance to help cover the costs of childcare for people participating in education, training, and/or work-based learning.

However, these programs are often underutilized by states or not used in alignment with postsecondary and workforce training efforts. In some cases, state funds may be needed to supplement federal funding to meet the needs of students participating in education and training.

Supportive Services Academy Teams will focus on topics such as braiding federal, state, and private funds to provide support for students in career pathways programs and other skills training; policies that enable greater community college student access to SNAP, childcare, and emergency funds; and establishing state-funded support services funds for students and workers participating in education and training.

The selected five state teams are:

  • Illinois
    • Chicago Jobs Council*
    • Women Employed
    • Young Invincibles
    • Safer Foundation
  • Louisiana
    • Louisiana Budget Project*
    • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
    • Louisiana Community & Technical College System
    • Louisiana Association for Business and Indusry
  • Mississippi
    • Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative*
    • Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable, MS Women’s Economic Security Initiative
    • Mississippi State Conference of the NAACP
    • Foundation for the Mid-South
    • Women’s Foundation of Mississippi
    • Dependable Source Corp Center for Community & Workforce Development
    • Mississippi Apprenticeship Program, MS Community College Board
    • MI-BEST, MS Community College Board
    • Moore Community House Women in Construction
  • Ohio
    • Ohio Workforce Coalition*
    • Towards Employment
    • Great Lakes Community Action Partnership
    • Policy Matters Ohio
    • The Literacy Cooperative
    • Ohio Department of Job & Family Services
    • Ohio Workforce Area 7
  • Oregon
    • Portland Community College*
    • Department of Human Services
    • Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon

*Denotes lead organization

The Academy will run from December 2019 – December 2020. If you are interested in learning more about the Academy or NSC’s work on supportive services in the states, please contact State Network Manager Michael Richardson at