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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Announces 2016 Application Process for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative

Media Contacts:
Taylor Gage, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1970 
Kate Ellingson, Economic Development, 402-471-3749  



DED will accept applications until April 8th

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is accepting applications for the next round of Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) grants, a program that introduces young Nebraskans to potential careers in the manufacturing and technology sectors.  DYTI was proposed by the Governor as a part of his budget a year ago in January and approved by the Legislature in early 2015.

“The Developing Youth Talent Initiative is connecting our young people with potential career options in the manufacturing and information technology fields,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Expanding educational opportunities and creating more and better paying jobs are two of my administration’s top priorities.  Working together, we will continue to open new horizons for young Nebraskans looking for a career track with good-paying jobs.”

Over 60 percent of high school students indicate that the greatest influence on their future careers is their own experiences and interests.  Research by the National Association of Manufacturers shows more than 50 percent of students believe that career and technical education offerings improved their grade point averages, and consequently those who are engaged in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) and activities are nearly 50 percent more like to pursue a technical career.

“Nebraska must continue to offer our students more opportunities to experience manufacturing and IT and develop a familiarity with the industries,” said DED Director Courtney Dentlinger. “ The Developing Youth Talent Initiative is one way we are engaging more companies in school career and technical education programs.”


Through this initiative, DED is providing financial assistance of up to $125,000 each to two eligible businesses in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.  Businesses that qualify for DYTI are those in the manufacturing sector or businesses in need of high-skill information technology (IT) professionals.  At least one business selected for a grant must be in a county with a population less than 100,000.  Grants through DYTI are provided to private sector for-profit entities.  An internal DED committee makes recommendations to the Governor for final approval.

DYTI grant recipients partner with schools to engage students to participate in hands-on career exploration and relevant workplace learning opportunities.  The programs reach students beginning in the seventh and eighth grades and demonstrate sustainability and measurable impact.  Interest and participation in the program by students may be initial metrics, but measures may also include tracking of course-taking patterns through high school, possible work experiences provided by businesses after initial exposure, and tracking of post-secondary plans.

In 2015, the Governor proposed the initiative to respond to rapid innovations in the manufacturing and information technology sectors.  Next generation workers in these industries are requiring advanced skill sets and knowledge to help companies compete in the global economy.  This innovative initiative is starting to help develop a youth talent pipeline to meet such workforce demands.
In 2015, two Nebraska businesses received grants: Hollman Media, LLC in Kearney and Flowserve Corporation in Hastings.


To apply for the grant, businesses should visit:  

Applications are due electronically by 5:00pm, April 8, 2016 to

Businesses with questions should contact Linda Black at or 308-991-2986.