Catalyzing Career & Technical Education Competition

Social Finance and JFF (Jobs for the Future) are hosting the second round of our national Pay for Success competition to expand career and technical education for under-served, high-need youth.

Awardees will receive a year of free technical support to explore the feasibility of a PFS project to expand their CTE program. Target applicants have an evidenced-based program to scale and an identified party willing to pay for positive outcomes.

In the first round of the competition, Social Finance and JFF provided four finalists with technical assistance. See our blog post for more information on successes and lessons learned with these awardees.

Application Information

The full Request for Proposals is currently available for download.

To apply, please email your complete application to [Subject line: Catalyzing CTE Competition] no later than 11:59 PM EDT on October 18, 2019.

Questions can be directed to Anna Fogel at

Key Dates

**Deadline extended**
August 6, 2019: Competition launch
September 17, 2019: Informational webinar held from 3:00-4:00 PM EDT (register here)
September 20, 2019: Deadline for notice of intent to apply (optional)
October 18, 2019: Completed applications due by 11:59 PM EDT


How the Competition Works

Career and technical education is particularly well-positioned to benefit from Pay for Success, because improving student outcomes benefits both education agencies and employers, thereby expanding the potential payor base to both public and private entities. This competition is the first opportunity in the nation to develop PFS projects in K-12 education and the organizations selected to participate will explore will develop some of the country’s most innovative solutions to the challenges facing today’s students.

This award will cover the costs of assessing the feasibility of and developing Pay for Success projects in two winning sites. Social Finance and JFF will spend a year with sites to assess the feasibility of a PFS project (~4 months) and to develop and structure the project (~8 months).

The competition is open to local education agencies, postsecondary institutions, and consortia who are looking to scale existing CTE programming in conjunction with a proposed payor. For example, an applicant team could propose the following types of structures for a project:

  • State department of education (proposed outcome payor) in partnership with a local school district (proposed CTE site): The state DOE is willing to act as a payor if a school district with an effective CTE pilot can successfully expand the pilot to its other high schools.
  • Local employer (proposed outcome payor) in partnership with a local or regional pathways collaborative (proposed CTE site): An industrial company who needs access to a high-quality workforce is willing to act as a payor if a school district and postsecondary partner successfully scale their industry specific CTE model to schools near its plants.
  • Public college (proposed outcome payor) in partnership with an early college high school (proposed CTE site): A public college acts as payor for an ECHS to scale their pathways model to serve more students.

While these are three strong examples, potential projects will have a range of designs and all sites with proven CTE programs and a potential payor are encouraged to apply.

Pay for Success