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Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Leadership - Career Connections Conference Grant

Grants to Illinois Nonprofits, Agencies, Community Organizations,
and IHEs for Educator Conferences Related to Career Preparation

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Funding Source:

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Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) - College and Career Readiness Division

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Grants to Illinois nonprofits, local education agencies, community organizations, and IHEs for educational conferences related to career preparation among high school and postsecondary students. Applicants must pre-qualify prior to applying. Funding is intended to expand and enhance the knowledge, content, and skills of secondary career and technical education educators, administrators, and counselors, as well as postsecondary faculty, and promote transition and alignment of programs to improve student success.

The program will deliver CTE conferences in two different geographical locations in the state. The purpose of the program and conferences is to develop high school and college students' technical skills, employability, and academic knowledge, which align with labor market needs, prepare students for in-demand careers, and provide all students with opportunities to explore careers, develop marketable skills, and engage in lifelong learning. Conference activity should include strands for teachers of grades 5-8 in the form of career-connected exploration.

Conference must, at a minimum, align with the statewide definition of career and technical education and ISBE's Board goals and equity principles. Conference activities must provide high-quality, research-based professional learning and development opportunities appropriate for CTE teachers, school counselors, and administrators, support staff primarily in grades 9-12, and provide career-connected exploration and activities for middle grade educators. The learning experience shall provide the target audience with the knowledge and skills to enhance and develop integrated curriculum, shall instill a higher level of academic and industry knowledge and skills for effective applied learning, and shall review methods of developing and utilizing data sets designed to improve student achievement and enhance further programs.

The successful applicant must have experience in developing, maintaining, and effectively managing a conference website and an extensive database to record event data, such as registration, potential and past speakers, hotel information, agendas, evaluations, and mailing list, and provide reporting data to the state. The project may include conference registration fees on a cost-recovery basis only (not for profit) to provide conference meals and other costs not covered by the grant.

For information about performance criteria, see:

For allowable expenses, see page 9 of the Guidelines.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186474

Number of Grants:

One grant.

Estimated Size of Grant:

An amount not to exceed $250,000

Term of Contract:

The grant period will begin no sooner than July 1, 2019, and will extend from the execution date of the grant until June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Administrative agencies of regional vocational systems formed under a cooperative agreement, public community colleges, technical institutes operated by state universities, or state agencies having administrative control and direction of a program of vocational education may apply.

Funding may not be spend to pay for meals served in conjunction with a meeting, a conference, or other such gathering required as part of the funded agency's contractual responsibilities to the state.

For additional eligibility information, see:

Applicants must have a DUNS number and be registered in SAM to apply.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The College and Career Readiness Division of the Illinois State Board of Education will host a webinar on Monday, July 29, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. to provide information on the FY2020 Request for Proposal (RFP). The webinar will review the RFP process for the Career and Technical Education State Leadership funding opportunity.

Register here:

Register for a webinar recording:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due no later than 4:00 PM CDT on Friday, August 30, 2019. Proposals can be submitted electronically, mailed, or hand delivered.

Successful applicants will receive a Notice of Award from the State Superintendent via email approximately 90 days after the application deadline.

The State of Illinois Grant Accountability and Transparency Act requires applicants to complete pre-qualification requirements before applying for an FY2020 grant. This includes completion of the Grantee Registration and Pre-Qualification process through the Illinois GATA Web Portal at

ISBE will post any changes to the RFP prior to close of business on Friday, August 23, 2019.

Pre-qualification information:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Mail original and electronic copy to:
College and Career Readiness Division
Illinois State Board of Education
100 N. 1st St. C-215
Springfield, IL 62777

Hand-Deliver to:
Reception Area, 1st Floor
100 N. First Street
Springfield IL 62777

Marci Johnson, Director, Curriculum and Instruction
College and Career Readiness​
​Phone: (217) 524-4832​​​​​​​​

Kimberly Barnes-Cummins

Funding or Pin Number:

CSFA Number: 586-18-1014

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois