Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP)
The Competitive Skills Scholarship helps workers learn new skills and succeed in a changing economy.
The program is open to all qualified Maine residents and pays for education and training for high-wage jobs in demand in Maine. The number of new CSSP applicants accepted into the program each year is based on available funding and allocated by County.
Applications for CSSP are accepted at Maine's CareerCenters either during a Statewide open application period or as openings occur in specific counties. Applications submitted are reviewed by CareerCenter staff to determine whether or not the application meets Stage-One eligibility criteria.
During a statewide application period, applications are screened and if determined initially eligible, they are entered into a random selection process. Applicants will be invited in numerical order of the randomly generated list to their local CareerCenter to attend a CSSP information session and begin the process of verifying eligibility.
When applications are being accepted in some, but not all Maine Counties, applicants who meet Stage-One eligibility criteria will be contacted in the order in which their application is received to meet with a CareerCenter Consultant and begin the process of verifying eligibility.
Once available CSSP slots are filled, stage-one eligible applicants not invited into the CareerCenter will be notified that CSSP is no longer accepting applications. Applications will remain on file for six months of the date of application. If additional openings occur within the six months after the original application was submitted, applicants will be contacted in the order their application was received.
Applications for CSSP are currently being accepted from residents of Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, and York Counties. Click on the appropriate link below to access the appropriate application for the county you reside in. Please continue to check the web site for updates regarding applications for CSSP employment and training services.
- Androscoggin County Application (PDF)
- Aroostook County Application (PDF)
- Cumberland County Application (PDF)
- Franklin County Application (PDF)
- Hancock County Application (PDF)
- Kennebec County Application (PDF)
- Knox County Application (PDF)
- Lincoln County Application (PDF)
- Oxford County Application (PDF)
- Penobscot County Application (PDF)
- Piscataquis County Application (PDF)
- Sagadahoc County Application (PDF)
- Somerset County Application (PDF)
- Waldo County Application (PDF)
- Washington County Application (PDF)
- York County Application (PDF)
CSSP Approved Occupations List (PDF)
CSSP Income Guidelines (PDF)
Program Goal and Targeted Outcomes
Program Goal: To provide eligible individuals with access to post-secondary education, training for industry recognized credentials and support leading to skilled, well-compensated jobs with anticipated high employment demand. Achieving the CSSP program goal will result in:
- a Maine workforce trained to meet employer demand
- placement of successful trainees in high wage jobs
- improvement of the economic well-being of participants
Upgrades worker skills
The Competitive Skills Scholarship pays for things not covered by other education grant and loan programs, including:
- tuition and fees that are not paid from other sources
- educational supports including: child care, transportation, books, supplies, equipment, remedial and pre-requisite training
Pick the training program that is right for you
The Competitive Skills Scholarship pays for several different education and training options including:
- certificate programs
- two and four-year degrees
To qualify for the Competitive Skills Scholarship, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 18 years old and live in Maine
- Legally eligible to work in the U.S.
- Are seeking education or training for a job in a high wage, in demand occupation
- Do not have a marketable post-secondary degree
- Have household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level
- Have the ability to undertake and complete the education or training program