LYFT Pathways was funded through a $3 million Rural Career and Technical Education Consortium Grant, which was passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2017.The legislative funding is scheduled to run through June 30, 2022.
Midland Institute CEO Program Grant
LYFT Pathways will be providing grants to business and education partnerships to initiate Midland Institute - Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) programs that will begin in the Fall of 2023. The grant is available to schools/communities in the SWWC service region or the Minnesota West and Mid-Minnesota Carl Perkins Consortiums.
- Midland Institute CEO encourages local businesses to partner with area schools to create project-based experiences for students by providing funding, expertise, meeting space, business tours, and one-on-one mentoring.
- Students visit area businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in a class business, write business plans, and start and operate their own businesses.
- Business concepts learned through the experiential CEO class are critical; the 21st century skills of problem-solving, teamwork, self-motivation, responsibility, higher-order thinking, communication, and inquiry are at the heart of a student’s development throughout the course.
- Besides transforming high school students into entrepreneurial thinkers, CEO helps our local communities to “build our own” by getting those students fully connected to the businesses and opportunities in their own backyards. This helps to stop the “brain drain” and develops our next generation of business and thought leaders.
The LYFT Pathways grant will be paid directly to the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship on behalf of each partnership to help offset the initial $35,000 CEO chapter fee. We anticipate grants of approximately $20,000 per new CEO partnership, but that will be determined by the number of programs initiated.
Midland CEO programs have been operating or are planned in schools that have students from the following Minnesota communities:
- SW Minnesota CEO (Adrian, Beaver Creek, Edgerton, Ellsworth, Hills, Jasper, Luverne, Magnolia, Pipestone, Steen) -SINCE 2018
- West Central CEO (Clara City, Danube, Kerkhoven, Maynard, Murdock, Prinsburg, Raymond, Renville, Sacred Heart, Sunburg) -SINCE 2020
- Lyon-Murray CEO (Avoca, Balaton, Chandler, Currie, Iona, Lake Wilson, Lynd, Marshall, Milroy, Slayton, Tracy) -STARTING FALL 2022
- Minnesota River Valley CEO (Clarkfield, Cottonwood, Echo, Granite Falls, Hanley Falls, Hazel Run, Montevideo, Wood Lake) -STARTING FALL 2023
- Cottonwood-Jackson CEO (Jackson, Lakefield, Windom) -STARTING FALL 2023
- Mower County CEO – OUTSIDE THE LYFT PATHWAYS SERVICE REGION
- Wright Tech CEO – OUTSIDE THE LYFT PATHWAYS SERVICE REGION
Please complete this online form by January 31, 2022 so we can determine your partnership’s level of interest.
If you have any questions about CEO or the process for launching a program, Chris Egelston, the Community Engagement Leader with Midland Institute, would be glad to connect with you by phone or Zoom any time to give you more details. He will also fully support your community during the launch process. You can reach him directly firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-573-3627.Report Forms
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for LYFT Pathway funds?
My school district would like to expand its CTE offerings. Do we need to partner with another high school in order to be funded?
- To be eligible for funding, schools must be a member of SWWC, the Minnesota West Carl Perkins Consortium, or the Mid-Minnesota Carl Perkins Consortium. Outside districts can participate if they partner with an eligible school district.
Is the applying partnership required to provide matching funds for the project?
- Yes, the Rural CTE Consortium legislation requires that at least two high schools are involved in the partnership to be eligible for funds.
Can an application be submitted for a second round of funding?
- Match is required, but there is no set amount or percentage. Matching funds demonstrate the partners' support and are an indication that there is greater potential for sustaining the project.
Can LYFT funds be used for planning or just implementation?
- Yes, a second round of funding can be requested as long as it is to fund a new course or program or expand to include additional partnering schools.
Does funding have to be used for CTE courses and programs or could it be used for other collaborative classes between high schools?
- Planning can be part of an application for funds, but the outcome needs to be that high school students will be served as a result of the project being implemented.
What are considered CTE courses?
- Funding can only be used to develop or expand CTE courses or programs.
The Selection/Review Process talks about the “expansion of an existing course(s) to new partnership schools, what does that mean?
- Career Technical Education (CTE) courses provide learning experiences to develop technical skills in career fields such as agriculture, architecture, culinary arts, manufacturing, engineering, electrical and plumbing, health care, robotics, construction, veterinary medicine, education, accounting, etc.
It is mentioned in the LYFT materials and application that funds can be used to “provide CTE courses/opportunities for high school students that do not currently exist”. What would be examples of CTE opportunities?
- As an example, one of the partnering schools might have an established CTE course (i.e. Auto Mechanics, Metals, Health Careers, etc.) and another school does not. By partnering with one another (i.e., sharing teachers, facilities, students, or equipment, etc.) it expands the opportunity for students from another school to take a course that would not have existed without the partnership. The partnership should also be critical for both schools to sustain the course after the initial year.
Can LYFT funds be used for student transportation?
- While most of the new partnerships will likely result in the development of a new CTE course (for at least one of the schools), funds might also be used to develop other new collaborative CTE opportunities that are not in the form of a course. For example, job shadowing, career guidance, apprenticeships, and industry tours. Whatever the shared opportunity is that is developed, it would be important that there is an ongoing partnership between the schools to sustain it after the initial funding.
How much funding can a partnership apply for?
- Funds can be used to transport students for face to face classes with other schools, but reimbursement is limited to 50% of the costs. LYFT Pathways will not reimburse students directly for transportation. Reimbursement can only be made to schools or their transportation provider.
Do the CTE courses or programs that are developed need to provide students with college credit?
- The current application process sets a limit at $20,000. There could be exceptions to that limit, but partnerships should discuss it with LYFT staff prior to completing the application process?
Are there staff available that can help partnerships develop their plan?
- Offering classes for college credit is not a requirement, but it is encouraged.
How will we know if our application has been approved?
- The LYFT staff listed on the application can answer questions and provide technical assistance to partnerships to help them make decisions, but it is up to the partnership to complete the application form.
How do schools/organizations process payments for LYFT Pathways expenditures?
- LYFT staff will contact the lead project contact person and project partners, as listed on the application, to let them know if their plan has been approved or if more details are needed.
School Finance Codes: The grant does not specify that certain codes must be used, so that will be up to the fiscal host of the local LYFT partnership. The SWWC (as fiscal host) uses Finance Code - 000 and Program Code - 399.
There are a two ways for schools/organizations to request their awarded LYFT Pathways funds.1. Schools/organizations can submit ORIGINAL invoices to LYFT@swwc.org or Attention Tom Hoff - SWWC, 1420 East College Drive, Marshall, MN 56258, and we will pay the vendor directly. Schools/organizations should place orders using their purchase order process. Be sure to indicate the school’s tax exempt status when ordering.2. To be reimbursed for any LYFT Pathway bills already paid:
- Invoice the SWWC at LYFT@swwc.org or Attention Tom Hoff - SWSC, 1420 East College Drive, Marshall, MN 56258,
- Include a copy of the original invoice that was paid.
- Provide proof that the invoice has been paid (i.e., payment register showing the check number, vendor name, and dollar amount; OR a copy of the cancelled check. School districts can send a copy of the posted activity audit report)
- Upon receiving the appropriate documentation, a check will be mailed to the school/organization making the request.