Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Grant Funding

Teacher in front of classroom

Launch Your Future Today (LYFT) Career Pathways is a rural career and technical education pathway initiative in the 18-county service region of southwest and west central Minnesota, launched in 2018 with a legislative grant secured by Southwest West Central Service Cooperative (SWWC) and its partners. Since then, LYFT Pathways continues to be supported through a state-wide Rural Career and Technical Education (CTE) Consortium Grant, passed by the Minnesota Legislature.

More than 80 projects have been funded between 2018-2023. Nearly 19,000 students in southwest and west central Minnesota were impacted by these projects, and over half of the projects resulted in new CTE courses. To read more about those projects, click here.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Impact Grants are a part of the Minnesota Service Cooperative CTE pathway growth initiative with the purpose of providing robust CTE experiences* for students in grades 5 through 12. Our focus is to increase the number of students equipped with the career and college readiness skills needed by employers. We encourage projects that utilize creativity and flexible thinking to serve students in new ways, providing them with an opportunity for exploration, exposure, and experiences that guide their career and college choices and build pathways to pursue them.

*WE DEFINE ROBUST CTE AS:
  • ACCESSIBLE, EQUITABLE, AND INCLUSIVE – Student-centered opportunities that are accessible to ALL students and value our diverse human experience.
  • ALIGNED AND INTEGRATED – Education and work-based experiences that are relevant, aligned and integrated with industry needs through advanced business/community engagement and higher education partnerships.
  • INNOVATIVE AND CAREER-CONNECTED – Innovative, career-connected learning that exposes students to local/regional career opportunities through hands-on, work-based and out-of-school learning in partnership with businesses.
  • ENGAGING AND RELEVANT– Sequenced courses that are taught by instructors who are highly trained, supported, and deeply engaged in providing relevant instruction.
  • SUSTAINABLE AND NEED-BASED – Sustained and leveraged resources through community partnerships that address barriers to quality CTE.

Grant Timeline

  • Release: March 4, 2024
  • Letter of Intent Due: March 20, 2024 (recommended, not required)
    Send an email to LYFT@swwc.org describing the project and partners. 
  • Full Application Due: April 12, 2024
  • Applicants Notified: May 31, 2024
    Contact LYFT@swwc.org if you have any questions or want to discuss your project idea.

Funding Guidelines

MSC CTE Project Funds MUST accomplish at least one of the following in accordance with the authorizing legislation for this funding:
  • Develop career pathways
  • Develop new CTE programs tied to regional industries/economy
  • Equip students with technical/workplace skills
  • Improve access to CTE programs by developing public/private partnerships and/or increasing postsecondary options
  • Increase family/student awareness of CTE
  • Provide industry-level equipment/technologies supporting skills development
In addition, these priorities have been identified as important to student success and are strongly encouraged as part of your application:
  • Career Connected Learning that Equips Students for Our Future Workforce: Equipping students for our future workforce by bridging relationships between education and industry to provide accessible, equitable, and inclusive career-connected learning that builds pathways to local/regional careers for all students.
  • Innovative and Aligned Approaches: Developing/offering new or enhanced CTE programs, pathways, and experiences that harness creativity and innovation and accelerate quality student learning in alignment with local/regional high-wage, in-demand careers. See the Career Pathways Tool or DEED’s Occupation in Demand tool to identify high-wage, in-demand careers for your region.
  • Collaboration to Accelerate Quality Learning: Intentional engagement of industry and education partners such as neighboring school districts, local/regional businesses, business/labor organizations or associations, chambers of commerce, economic development, workforce development, higher education, nonprofit/community-based organizations, and community action agencies. These partners are key in ensuring your project advances student learning tied to local/regional careers.

LYFT Planning Guide

The models and examples shared at the LYFT Pathways Workshop were intended to help you envision new possibilities for YOU to prepare students in your area for the future. Build on your reflections below to help you envision YOUR opportunities and create an action plan for moving forward.

 

Scoring Guide

Frequently Asked Questions