2020 Catalyzing Career & Technical Education Competition

Announcing the 2020 Career and Technical Education Through Pay for Success Competition

Thank you for your interest in this competition. The application window closed December 4, 2020. Selections will be announced by January 29, 2021.

Covid-19 threatens employment opportunities for young people and budgets for CTE programs. That’s why innovative funding mechanisms are needed now more than ever to boost program sustainability and improve outcomes for under-served youth.

Social Finance and JFF are excited to host a national Pay for Success (PFS) competition to expand career and technical education (CTE) for under-served, high-need youth. This effort is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE).

Eligible applicants are Perkins-eligible CTE providers. Awardees will receive free technical assistance at no cost, a value of approximately $150,000-$225,000, to expand their CTE programs. Social Finance and JFF will provide a suite of expert consultation services, evaluate preparedness to scale programs, and explore new funding strategies with an eye for identifying whether outcomes-based funding might be feasible. Outcomes-based funding can take many forms, including performance-based contracts, social impact bonds, income share agreements, and outcome rate cards.

Depending on the winning site(s)’s needs, potential outputs from the technical assistance could help providers plan for the future in a CTE landscape altered by Covid-19. The technical assistance could include:

  • Identification of potential funding strategies for CTE programs and wrap-around costs
  • Analysis of local labor market needs and trends
  • Evaluation of best practices (e.g. remote learning) through a landscape review
  • Design of data collection and analysis strategies to capture program impact

Request for Proposals

Access the RFP here.

Application Timeline

RFP Release August 17, 2020
Deadline to notify Social Finance and JFF of intent to apply (strongly encouraged but not required) — please email solicitations@socialfinance.org October 16, 2020
Deadline for proposals December 4, 2020 at 11:59 PM PST
Selections announced January 29, 2021

Informational Webinars

Social Finance and JFF will host two informational webinars to provide an overview of the competition and RFP, important dates, and example applicants, as well as to answer any questions. 

Recorded webinars will also be posted to this page.


Social Finance will post answers to any questions about the competition and application process. Read the Q&A here.

Pay for Success Resources

See the following resources for more information on Pay for Success.

See the following resources for more information on Pay for Success tools.


General Questions

Please submit any general questions during the application process to Narni Summerall.