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Career and Technical Education (CTE) Incentive Grants

About CTE Incentive Grants

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Incentive Grant program was established on December 11, 2013, by Wisconsin Act 59. Grants from this program incentivize school districts to offer high-quality career and technical education programs that mitigate workforce shortages in key industries and occupations. The grants reimburse district schools up to $1,000 for each recent graduate in the district earning an approved industry-recognized certification. Additionally, student completion awards of $500 per eligible certification are permitted for graduates who earned certifications in EMT, EMR, Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, and/or Fire Inspector. District incentives are paid to the school, and student completion awards are paid directly to the graduates.

Administering this program requires the collaboration of several state Departments. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD), with the consultation of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin Technical College System Office (WTCS), will create an approved list of industries and occupations with workforce shortages, and an accompanying list of industry-recognized certifications, each year. Only certifications on the approved lists will be valid for incentive grants and completion awards under these grants.

Applying for Incentive Grants and Completion Awards

Schools must apply annually to the DPI by submitting eligible claims for certifications earned by their graduates and providing supporting documentation for each certification. Please see The Department of Public Instructions website to apply.

A webinar explaining the claims submission process for Class of 2022 students was conducted June 16, 2022, and is available through the link in the resource list below.

The Class of 2022 claim submission window is open and will remain open until the deadline of September 30, 2022.

Annual Approved Certifications Lists

Each school year, an updated list of approved certifications is published. The list includes all the certifications that are approved for that school year and is used by school districts for planning purposes. However, the year that each certification was earned (not the year of graduation) directs which list to use when submitting a claim. For instance, a graduate of the Class of 2022 may have earned a certification in 2020. To be eligible for the district incentive grant, the claim submitter should refer to the list from the Class of 2020 and see if the certification had been approved for that year and what the documentation requirements are. If the certification was not approved for the Class of 2020, it would not be eligible for payment. Similarly, if a graduate of 2022 earned a certification in 2018 that was on the Class of 2018 list but is no longer on the 2022 Approved Certifications List, the school could submit the claim because the certification was earned in a year in which it was on the approved list. The official lists can be found at:

Program Updates

Links to Other CTE Incentive Grant Resources

Adding New Certifications

DWD is not accepting applications for certifications to be added to the Class of 2023 or Class of 2024 Approved Certifications Lists at this time. The Class of 2023 Approved Certifications List will remain the same as the Class of 2022 Approved Certifications List.

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