Colorado Employment First

Colorado Employment First

In Colorado, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) program, known as Employment First (EF), promotes long-term self-sufficiency and independence by preparing SNAP recipients for meaningful employment through work-related education and training activities. The EF program is administered in 21 Colorado counties at local county human/social services offices and through organizations around the state, known as Third-Party Partners.

To learn where and how you can access Employment First services, expand the section below.

Please note: If you're looking for the Colorado Office of Employment First, a collaboration of the University of Colorado's JFK Partners and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, you can find it here.

Program eligibility

To be eligible for the Employment First program, you must be receiving SNAP benefits. There are several ways to apply for SNAP:

Learn more about SNAP here.

Employment First services

Employment First offers work-based learning activities such as education, employment and training services. When appropriate, some of these services may be combined for you to meet your monthly work requirement. The following services may be offered in your county:

  • Supportive services during your job search and after you find a job
  • GED preparation and testing 
  • Pre-GED basic skills education
  • If you’re enrolled in school or in a training program and working towards a degree or certificate
  • Basic literacy education such as reading and writing
  • English language learning classes
  • Training related to a specific occupation such as, but are not limited to, welding, word processing, auto mechanics, truck driving, and data entry
  • Classes that may include, but are not limited to, improving writing, reading, math, communication skills, and customer service training
  • Self-employment training
  • Actual work experiences to build job skills while you work with an employer or an apprenticeship program
  • Interview skills and resume assistance

Although supportive services may vary by county, every county provides broad assistance to eligible SNAP recipients to help them establish economic security, enhance their quality of life, and promote employment goals. There are two ways to request supportive services:

  • Make a request online using the Colorado PEAK website. Click here for a guide to managing your account. PEAK will need the following information from you: household member (drop-down), category (drop-down), amount requested, and to describe your situation. 
  • Make a request through the MyCOBenefits app, which is available in the Apple and Android app stores. (Click here for a guide.) The following information will be requested from you: the supportive services category (drop-down), the amount you are requesting, and a brief description of your situation.

To find out more about allowable supportive services, contact your county human services department.

Colorado Workfare Program 

In Colorado, the Section 20 Optional Workfare Program of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2018 is called the Colorado Workfare Program. 

Employment First counties partner with workfare sites across the state to provide clients an opportunity to obtain work experience and enhance their job skills.

If you are interested in becoming a workfare site, please contact your county human services department to obtain additional information.

Resources

Expand the sections below to view resources for Employment First partners, as well as Third-Party Partners. 
 

Additional information

To learn more about Employment First, click on these links:

CDHS Employment and Benefits Division
Employment First county contacts
FFY21 SNAP E&T State Plan
FFY21 SNAP E&T Addendum 
FFY21 Workfare Program State Plan

Civil rights complaints

If you want to file a complaint about a violation of your civil rights, please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights.