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CalFresh Employment & Training

Published on: 3/2/2020 9:17 AM
CFET training 
What do you want for the future?
  • A new career?
  • Job training?
  • Help with your resume?
  • New job search skills?
  • Improved Math or English skills?
  • Assistance with the costs?

    Let us help youimage


The CalFresh Employment & Training program (CFET) is a free program that helps CalFresh recipients gain skills, tools and training to find a living wage job.
The CFET Program helps individuals receiving CalFresh benefits obtain employment through voluntary participation in the program by assisting household members acquire marketable job skills through training and work experience to increase their ability to obtain gainful employment and reduces their reliance on CalFresh benefits.
Participants can engage in a variety of activities: Non-Education/Non-Work, Education and Work Components. CFET refers to these services, activities, or programs as components. A CFET program must include at least one component but may also provide a sequence of components or concurrent components.
Non-Education, Non-Work Components
Supervised Job Search
Activities under the Supervised Job Search component include, but are not limited to:
Supervised Job Search
Supervised Job Search requires participants who are ready to enter the workforce to make a pre-determined number of inquiries to prospective employers over a specified period. Participants may do this on their own, with one-on-one assistance, or in a group setting. It is considered a legitimate job search contact when the participant submits a resume or application to an employer or has an interview with a potential employer. The job contact must be in an area of work for which the participant is reasonably qualified.
Job Search Training
Job Search Training enhances the job readiness of participants by teaching job seeking techniques, increasing job search motivation and boosting self-confidence. This activity includes but is not limited to:
  • Occupational assessment
  • Remedial and entry-level job skills training
  • Online Job Search Tools
  • Resume building
  • Interview skills coaching
  • Customized and institutional skill training
  • Self-improvement training
  • Mock interviews, and/or Work readiness workshops


Job Retention 
Job Retention services are provided to individuals who have secured employment to help them achieve satisfactory performance, retain employment, and increase earnings over time. Job retention clients receive reimbursable supportive services for a minimum of 30 days and maximum of 90 days after they have secured employment. Such services and reimbursable participant costs may include but are not limited to:
  • Case management
  • Life skill classes
  • Referrals to other services
  • Dependent care assistance
  • Transportation assistance
  • Clothing required for the job
  • Equipment or tools required for the job
  • Test fees
  • Union dues, and/or Licensing and bonding fees
Education Components
Education activities are programs that have a direct link to the local job market for participants who cannot gain employment due to basic skills deficits or lack of a high school diploma.
Note:  Federal Employment & Training (E&T) funds cannot take the place of nonfederal (i.e., State, local) funds for existing educational services. Federal financial participation for operating education components may be authorized only for costs that exceed the normal cost of services provided to persons not participating in E&T.
Vocational Training or Career/Technical Education Programs
Vocational Training is designed to improve the employability of participants by providing training in a skill or trade for careers in current or emerging employment sectors, typically provided by training institutions that provide an industry-recognized certificate or credential.
Adult Basic Education or High School Equivalency (HSE)
Programs that offer academic instruction and education services that increase an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak in English and perform mathematics or other activities necessary for the attainment of a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent; transition to postsecondary education and training; and obtain employment. Such programs include Adult Basic Education (ABE), basic literacy, and high school equivalency (GED, TASC, HiSET, or other).
English Second Language (ESL)
A component designed to help English language learners achieve competence in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension of the English language.
Work Components
Workfare participants work off the value of their household’s monthly benefit allotment through an assignment at a private or public non-profit agency as a condition of eligibility. In lieu of wages, workfare participants receive compensation in the form of their household’s monthly benefit allotment. The primary goal of workfare is to improve employability and encourage individuals to move into regular employment while returning something of value to the community. Workfare assignments cannot replace or prevent the employment of regular employees. Workfare assignments must provide the same working conditions and workers’ compensation benefits that are provided to regularly employed individuals performing similar work for equal hours.
Work Experience
The work experience component is designed to improve the employability of participants through actual work experience and/or training. The goal of this component is to enable participants to move into regular employment.
Work Experience placements can be with private, for profit or non-profit agencies. Work experience assignments may not replace the employment of a regularly employed individual, and they must provide the same working conditions and workers compensation benefits that are provided to regularly employed individuals performing similar work for equal hours.
Under this component, participants may engage in apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships, and Internships as allowable activities.
Apprenticeships allow participants to work with sponsoring organizations to earn necessary credentialing for industry-specific jobs. Participants combine on-the-job training with a practical and theoretical learning environment to gain highly skilled occupations directly linked to an apprenticeship program. These programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups, and/or employer associations.
Pre-apprenticeship services and programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in registered Apprenticeship programs. These programs have a documented partnership with at least one registered Apprenticeship program sponsor and together, they expand the participant's career pathway opportunities with industry-based training coupled with classroom instruction.

On-the-Job Training
On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a training provided by an employer to a participant, who receives compensation while engaged in productive work that:
  • Provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the occupation,
  • Provides reimbursement to the employer for the costs of providing the training and additional supervision related to the training, and
  • Is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for which the participant is being trained.


Work placement can be made through a contract with an employer or registered apprenticeship program sponsor in the public, private nonprofit, or private sector. An OJT contract must be limited to the period of time required for a participant to become proficient in the occupation for which the training is being provided. In determining the appropriate length of the contract, consideration should be given to the skill requirements of the occupation, the academic and occupational skill level of the participant, prior work experience, and the participant's individual employment plan.
Non-Covered Services
The following components/programs are not allowed for CFET:
  • 4-year college degree
  • Transfer degrees
  • Training program stipends
Support Services
Individuals participating in CFET components can receive reimbursement for support services such as transportation costs associated with program participation and other federally approved ancillary costs that are reasonably necessary and directly related to CFET participation. These include textbooks, tools, work clothing, dependent care, and short-term housing stabilization services, etc.

Some things CFET may help you do are:
  • Start a career
  • Write an effective resume
  • Receive paid work experience
  • Improve your interviewing skills
  • Get your high school equivalency certificate
  • Learn new job skills in professional, technical or vocational programs
  • Help you meet your ABAWD work requirements* to keep your CalFresh benefits!​


Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)

As of September 1, 2018, Federal regulations require some CalFresh recipients to register for work and participate in approved activities in order to maintain their eligibility for food assistance.

If you are receiving CalFresh and have been classified an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) without an exemption, your eligibility for CalFresh is limited to 3 months in a 36-month period (considered the 3-month time limit), unless you meet the ABAWD work requirements. These requirements can be met by participating in approved employment and training activities like those offered from CFET.

Your Eligibility Worker (EW) or Employment Counselor (EC) can help you determine if you need to meet these requirements.

You may qualify if:
  • You are receiving or qualify for CalFresh Assistance (application assistance available)
  • You meet income guidelines and apply for CalFresh
If you are not receiving CalFresh, our partner agencies can help you apply online or by phone:
Phone:  1.877.962.3633
CalFresh CFET logo 

Contact one of these partner agencies to help you get on your path to SUCCESS today! 
Center for Employment Opportunities logo 
Center for Employment Opportunities
521 Parrott Street San
Jose CA 95112
Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is the largest reentry employment provider in the country serving over 8,000 individuals annually. CEO provides immediate, effective, and comprehensive employment services to individuals who have recently returned home from incarceration and is committed to breaking down systemic barriers that limit access to critical resources.
Goodwill of Silicon Valley
1080 N. 7th Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Offers employment services that include vocational training, job readiness workshops and paid work experience options. At GWSV you will have a team of professional/compassionate people working with you to improve your employment opportunities.
Sacred Heart Community Services
1381 S. 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Economic Empowerment works alongside members to build pathways to self-sufficiency through employment and financial coaching services, mutual support, community advocacy and power building. Our work promotes community power.

Conservation Corps logo
San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School
2650 Senter Rd
San Jose, CA 95111
The San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School (SJCC+CS) gives youth a second chance at completing their high school diploma and gaining the education and job training they need to obtain a living wage job or continue their education beyond high school. Through its holistic approach, SJCC+CS stretches the educational safety net in which its students can land and prepares students to launch themselves further into higher education, vocational education, or directly into the skilled workforce. The program contributes to local economic vitality by helping high school drop-outs transform themselves into income-producing, tax-paying, self-sufficient, contributing community members.

SJCC+CS services include wrap-around services, education, job training, and environmental programs. We operate a WASC accredited, on-site charter high school and paid job training programs in environmental conservation, recycling/zero waste, and construction. These entry-level programs are the pathway by which students gain their basic skills such as work ethic, first aid/CPR, basic tool safety and vehicle safety, leadership, and conservation awareness. These jobs provide a critical entry point into the world of work for SJCC+CS corps members and a critical component of stabilization for these youth who are from low and very-low income families.

Working Partnerships USA
2102 Almaden Road, Suite 112
San Jose, CA 95125    
Are you interested in a rewarding, hands-on career in the building & construction trades?
The Trades Orientation Program is a free course that prepares you to enter a state certified apprenticeship leading to a high demand, high-paying trades career.

Gavilan college logo
Gavilan College
Fresh Success in LI101A/B
5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.
Gilroy, CA 95020


Fresh Success serves students who are enrolled or planning to enroll in Career Technical Education courses.  Examples of support services include textbook vouchers, emergency rental, transportation, PG&E & vehicle repair assistance.

CalFresh Employment Services logo
Santa Clara County Social Services
CalFresh Employment Services (CFES)
1879 Senter Rd, Door #10
San Jose, CA 95112




Sets you on a path to self-sufficiency by assisting you to find employment and if needed, can help you meet your CalFresh work requirements. CFES provides personalized one-on-one assistance, weekly employer recruitments, and job readiness workshops in a centralized location. Dedicated counselors offer valuable resources and skills as well as supportive services.




This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights; Room, 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.