BSE’s Hozella Releases Special Ed. Performance Grant Memo (July 17, 2019)

On July 12, 2019, Patricia Hozella, Interim Director of the PA Bureau of Special Education (BSE), released a Penn*Link memo titled Special Education Performance Grant – Competitive Integrated Employment Grant 2019-2020, which states that BSE is requesting applications from LEAs interested in establishing or expanding effective, competitive integrated employment programming for youth with disabilities. The ultimate goal is to provide youth with disabilities community-based paid work experiences during the 2019-2020 school year. LEAs, including school districts, intermediate units, charter schools, approved private schools and chartered schools for the deaf and the blind are eligible to apply. Grant monies will be awarded to applicants that:

  • have the ability to partner with local business(es);
  • collaborate with one or more of the following: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), County/Community-based Behavioral Health, Office of Intellectual Disabilities (OID), Centers for Independent Living and other disability-specific support organizations; and
  • are establishing or have an established school-based career readiness programs.  

The funding available for each successful grant applicant is up to $30,000.00, available from the date of the award through August 15, 2020.  

The purpose of the Competitive Integrated Employment Grant is to:

1)    Improve competitive integrated employment outcomes for youth with disabilities;

2)    Provide work experiences, including but not limited to job shadowing, internship/practicum (paid/unpaid), cooperative education programs, apprenticeship, community-based work programs, and service learning (unpaid), with job coaching as appropriate, for youth with disabilities with preference for students at-risk of dropping out and/or youth who have difficulty obtaining employment, independently;

3)    Establish sites that can serve as models for competitive integrated employment for youth with disabilities; and

4)    Actively involve OVR, County/Community-based Behavioral Health, OID, Centers for Independent Living and other disability-specific support organizations during the development and implementation of the grant-related activities.

The application can be found on the Secondary Transition webpage of the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) website by accessing the following link:

A single electronic submission of the application and letters of agreement is preferred.

  • Please send all electronic submissions to
  • Hard copy submissions may be addressed to Paula Schmitt, Director – PaTTAN Pittsburgh, 3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.

Applications must be received by 3:00 p.m., Friday, August 30, 2019.

PaTTAN will be providing an informational webinar regarding the grant application process on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Individuals interested in participating in this webinar can join by accessing the following link: This webinar will also be recorded and will be posted on the PaTTAN website.

For questions concerning the 2019-2020 Competitive Integrated Employment Grant, interested parties are asked to contact Jeffery Coover, PaTTAN Educational Consultant, at