DHS data: Since work requirement went into effect for FoodShare participants, thousands have joined the workforce

MADISON -- Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday, August 31st announced new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows thousands of FoodShare members participating in the new "FoodShare Employment and Training" program are working, and earning wages "significantly higher than minimum wage."

According to the DHS data, the participants in the program are working more than 30 hours per week, and earning an average of $11.99 per hour.

The worker training requirement went into effect statewide in April 2015.

Under the work requirement, able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-49 who do not have children living in the home are required work a minimum of 80 hours per month or participate in an employment and training program, such as FSET.

The alternative is for able-bodied adults to work and participate in an allowable employment training program for a combined total of at least 80 hours per each month, unless they have an exemption from meeting the work requirement.

FoodShare members required to meet this work requirement who choose not to participate in the worker training programs are limited to three months of FoodShare benefits in a 36-month period.

Since then, nearly 14,500 FoodShare members in the training program have entered the workforce.

“Wisconsin is unique because we made a significant investment in our employment training program for able-bodied adults through the FoodShare program. We recognize that while people want to work, sometimes they need help removing the barriers that prevent them from reaching that goal,” Governor Scott Walker said in a statement. “Our job training program offers FoodShare recipients a customized plan to help them enter the workforce, including free educational courses, vocational training, support to bolster their job skills, transportation assistance, and more.”