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Grants to South Carolina Nonprofit Trade Associations for Educational Training Programs in Various Industries

Career Cluster Partnership Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) - Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition Services (OCTE & STS)
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Geographic Focus
USA: South Carolina

Important Dates
Conference Date: 07/08/22
LOI Date: 07/15/22
Deadline: 07/29/22 4:00 PM EDT Save

Grant Description
Grants to South Carolina nonprofit trade associations and educational foundations to provide educational training programs in a range of fields. Funding is intended to support industry-specific career and technical education programs that will increase the number of skilled workers in the following sectors: construction, automotive, healthcare, engineering, hospitality and tourism, and mechanical contracting. Funds may be used for activities such as student assessment and testing programs, professional development for teachers, student recruitment, and programs for guidance and career counselors.

The purpose of the Career Clusters Partnership Program is to support instructor/student training and student testing in industry clusters to increase the state’s skilled workforce. The SCDE administers the program through its Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE).

A priority for the 2022–23 program is student assessment, as stated in Proviso 1A.33. The OCTE & STS is primarily interested in student assessments for secondary program completers. 

The Career Cluster Partnership Program funds must be used to support the following activities and programs:

  • Administration of end-of-course testing program and/or national certifications exams;
  • Student recruitment into the industry career cluster;
  • Programs to educate middle and high school career or guidance counselors about the industry;
  • Professional development and training for teachers;
  • Services to economically disadvantaged youth (as defined by eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch);
  • Administration of business/employer awareness and partnerships that lead to experience-based, career-oriented experiences including internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, cooperative education, and service-learning;
  • One-year post-secondary scholarships in industry-specific degree programs, if applicable;
  • An organization’s statewide student competitions that lead to national competitions; and
  • Career awareness programs for the industry career cluster.

Proposed programs should reflect the purpose of this program with the majority of activities in support of training and testing in the respective industry cluster. Salaries should be held to a minimum, and personnel, their qualifications, and their responsibilities must be included in the application. While computers and software are eligible expenditures, estimates should be reasonable, and all supplies and materials must be clearly tied to the proposed program’s goals and objectives. 


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible applicants are private-sector statewide trade associations or educational foundations that fall under IRS code 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) that provide nationally certified programs in career and technology education representing the automotive, construction, engineering, healthcare, mechanical contracting/construction, and hospitality and tourism career clusters.

Applicants may partner with trade organizations, corporations, or others to develop strong programs that provide direct support to students to further industry-specific career and technical education programs.

Expenditures should be reasonable, necessary, and adequately documented to achieve the grant program’s goals and objectives. Costs for office furniture, construction, entertainment, and alcohol are not allowed. Note that the unallowable expenditures listed are not all-inclusive; applicants should use prudent judgment to determine that expenditures are allowable and align with the proposed program’s scope of work.

Career Cluster Partnership grant funds must supplement, not supplant, existing services and may not supplant federal, state, local, or non-federal funds. Programs may not use grant funds to pay, in whole or in part, for existing levels of services funded from other sources.

The Career Cluster Partnership grant does not provide indirect costs or funds for administrative charges. Grant funds may not be used for office furniture or construction; travel or room and board for participants; college or university application fees; medical, recreation, parking, or other fees; entertainment or alcohol; and purchases that do not directly support the approved work plan.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Technical Assistance Sessions for Applicants

The SCDE’s OCTE & STS will offer a pre-application technical assistance webinar via Adobe Connect on July 8, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. to assist eligible applicants in understanding this RFP and how to apply for this grant. No password is required to join the session. Participants should enter their full names when logging in. Participants will be able to log in 30 minutes prior to the start time to test their audio settings and download/print handouts. While participation is not mandatory in order to submit an application, it is highly recommended.

Pre-Application Information
Applications must be submitted online using the online application form before 4:00 p.m. EDT on July 29, 2022.

- July 8, 2022: Pre-application technical assistance session
- July 15, 2022: Deadline for email of intent. A notice of intent is not required.
- July 29, 2022: Deadline for receipt of applications
- September 2022: Notification of awards
- September 16, 2022: Funding period begins; programs can begin
- December 30, 2022: Semi-annual progress reports due to the SCDE
- June 30, 2023: Funding period ends; programs must end
- July 31, 2023: Final reports due to the SCDE

All grant applicants must obtain a UEI and maintain a registration in the federal System for Award Management (SAM).

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
The SCDE will award at least one grant of a minimum of $150,000.

Term of Contract
The grant funding period will be September 16, 2022, to June 30, 2023. For large programs with a statewide scope, funds may be carried over for up to three years.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For questions, contact:
Tiffany Dorsey, (803) 734-1650;
Maria Swygert, (803) 734-8456;

South Carolina Department of Education
Office of Career and Technology Education
1429 Senate Street, Suite 912
Columbia, SC 29201

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