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2019-20 Career Cluster Partnership Program

Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits for Career
and Technology Workforce Training Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) - Office of Career and Technology Education (OCTE)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/31/19 4:00 PM EDT Receipt


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Grants to South Carolina nonprofit trade associations and educational foundations to grow a skilled workforce in the construction, automotive, healthcare, engineering, hospitality and tourism, and mechanical contracting sectors. This program will support student and instructor training, as well as student testing, within these designated industry clusters.

Introduction and Purpose

The South Carolina General Assembly has provided funds to the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) through a legislative proviso (2019 General Appropriations Bill H.4950, Proviso 1A.33) for one year to award grants on a competitive basis to private-sector statewide trade associations 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. The purpose of this 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 Technology Education (OCTE).

Competitive Priorities:

A priority for the 2019−20 program is student assessment, as stated in Proviso 1A.33. The OCTE is primarily interested in student assessments for secondary program completers. Technical skill assessments of interest are listed at the Career and Technology Education Technical Skill Assessments website.

Applications that include, as part of the proposed program, the administration of the specific certification examinations listed on the referenced website will receive competitive priority points. Up to 20 competitive priority points are available. Ten points will be awarded for the first examination identified. Each successive examination will earn five (5) points. No more than 20 competitive priority points will be awarded to any application. Applicants are not eligible for competitive points unless their application earns an average score of 75 points or higher.

For information on authorized activities, see page 3 of the RFP in "Supporting Documents" below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160145

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The SCDE will award at least one, exclusively for career and technology education, in at least four of the specified career clusters. Additional awards will depend on the quality of applications.

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, 2019, to June 30, 2020. For large programs with a statewide scope, funds may be carried over for up to three years.

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 technology education programs.

Unauthorized Activities:

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 expenditure allowability and alignment with the proposed program’s scope of work.

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:

The SCDE’s OCTE will offer a pre-application technical assistance webinar via Adobe Connect on July 8, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. EDT 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.

Access the webinar through Adobe Connect:

Pre-Application Information:

Date: Activity/Action:
- July 8, 2019: Pre-application technical assistance
- July 19, 2019: Deadline for email of intent
- July 31, 2019: Deadline for receipt of application
- September 2019: Notification of awards
- September 16, 2019: Funding period begins; programs can begin
- December 31, 2019: Semi-annual progress report(s) due to the SCDE
- June 30, 2020: Funding period ends; programs must end
- July 31, 2020: Final report due to the SCDE

Applicants should email a notice of intent to apply by July 19, 2019, to Maria Swygert in the Office of Career and Technology Education. A notice of intent is not required but will help the SCDE prepare for the application submission and review process.

No hardcopy applications will be accepted. Applications delivered by hand, postal mail, email, or fax will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted online.

Applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. EDT on July 31, 2019. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Because potential technology issues may arise, it is best to submit well in advance of the deadline.

A submission confirmation will be sent to the email address provided for the contact person.

Applicants should have at their disposal at least three months of sustainable funds to implement the program prior to SCDE payment.

Funds will be disbursed on a direct payment basis to grantees based on rubric score.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online Application:

Maria Swygert

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

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina