Photo courtesy W.Va. DHHR

State partners with Blenko Glass Company to provide job training for SNAP participants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment & Training (E&T), a job placement and training program within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Bureau for Family Assistance, is partnering with Blenko Glass Company to provide paid on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities for SNAP E&T participants.

Blenko Glass Company is a 128-year-old family business specializing in artisanal hand-blown glass. This partnership allows program participants to train as apprentices, earn the equivalent of an associate degree, and receive skill-based pay increases.

“The Bureau for Family Assistance is excited to partner with the one and only Blenko Glass Company to promote unique training and employment opportunities for our clients,” said Janie Cole, Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Family Assistance. “We are eager to expand our reach through new partnerships and help put more SNAP clients into high-demand, well-paying jobs so that they may make meaningful changes in their lives and the lives of their families. The chance to do that with a West Virginia icon like Blenko just makes it that much better.”

Blenko Glass Company recently partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development to build and implement West Virginia’s first registered Glass Worker Apprenticeship. The Glass Worker Apprenticeship consists of a blend of on-the-job training by Blenko Glass Company’s master craftsmen, in addition to classroom instruction from a veteran glass artist.

Blenko Glass Company’s learn-and-earn model apprenticeship is an industry-driven career pathway where the company develops its future workforce, and participants obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized portable certificate.

“Through this partnership with the SNAP E&T program, we hope to deepen our connections with West Virginians and make a difference in our communities while continuing to preserve our state’s glassmaking history,” said Blenko Glass President John W. Blenko, M.D. “It is our goal to provide program participants with the education, training, and support they need to become self-sufficient members of our workforce.”

Individuals currently enrolled or potentially eligible for SNAP benefits who are interested in paid placement at Blenko Glass Company should contact their local county DHHR office and ask to be referred to SNAP E&T. Individuals and families may apply for SNAP benefits at or at their local DHHR office. To find a DHHR office near you, visit

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