Pay for Success

Announcing the 2020 Catalyzing Career & Technical Education Competition

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 US 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

How to apply:

The Request for Proposals can be found here:

Additional competition information, applicant supports, and a frequently updated Competition Question & Answer document can be found on Social Finance's competition page:

The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time on December 4, 2020.

If you are interested in learning more about the competition, Social Finance and JFF are hosting webinars at the following times:

Answers to any questions about the competition can be found here: This document will be frequently updated ahead of the December 4, 2020 application deadline.

Please email Narni Summerall ( with any additional questions.


In October 2016, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $2 million grant to Social Finance, Inc. and JFF to expand high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for underserved, high-need youth through Pay for Success (PFS). This project will be completed from October 2016 to September 2021.

The aim of the CTE PFS TA program is to improve outcomes for underserved, high-need youth by expanding access to high-quality CTE programs using PFS financing.



Fact Sheet | Print Version

U.S. Department of Education: Pay for Success


Sherene Donaldson
(202) 245-6041

Sharon Miller
(202) 245-7846

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