Colorado operates the SNAP Employment and Training Program as Employment First (EF). Employment First increases employment for food assistance participants through support, referrals, accountability, and community work.
Employment First is a federally mandated program designed to ensure that all able-bodied food assistance participants are engaged in activities that will improve their ability to achieve long term employment.
The program currently operates in 45 Colorado counties.
All individuals who apply for food assistance in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption criteria must participate in Employment First activities. These activities include: workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation, literacy, college, vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, job search classes, and part-time work.
As a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, participants who are identified as "able-bodied adults without dependents" must complete 20 hours each week in order to receive food assistance benefits for more than 3 months in a 36-month cycle.