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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Opens 2018 Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative Grant Application Process

Media Contacts:  

Luke Robson, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1967

Kate Ellingson, Economic Development, 402-471-3749




Governor Ricketts at a previous Developing Youth Talent Initiative announcement.


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) will accept applications until April 9, 2018 for the next round of grant funding from the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI).


“Connecting students to great opportunities is key for the next generation of young Nebraskans and growing our state,” said Governor Ricketts.  “There are numerous rewarding and high-paying jobs waiting for Nebraska’s future workforce.  The DYTI program empowers young people to pursue skills and careers that are becoming increasingly valuable.”


DYTI was established by Governor Pete Ricketts in 2015 in response to a growing demand for manufacturing and information technology (IT) professionals.  As the needs of the workforce evolve over time, technical skills and knowledge will become increasingly important for those wishing to compete in the marketplace.  DYTI provides career exploration and hands-on learning opportunities intended to spark interest in science- and technology-related disciplines among middle school students.


DYTI will distribute a total of $250,000 between at least two for-profit businesses during the 2018-2019 school year.  Recipients will partner with public schools to implement workforce development programs geared toward seventh and eighth graders.


The program leverages research showing improved student GPAs following career-related science and technical curricula.  Students involved in similar programs have also been more likely to pursue careers in these fields.  In the past, DYTI has resulted in higher student enrollment in science and technical classes among incoming high school freshmen, as well as significantly greater interest in pursuing such careers after graduation.


Following this year’s April 9 application deadline, DYTI grantee recommendations will be referred to Governor Ricketts by an internal DED review committee. 


“DYTI is a program that aligns with the needs of our state and the mission of our department,” said DED Director Dave Rippe.  “Our shared vision is to grow Nebraska, and there are few investments more impactful than those into our state’s future workforce.”


Eligible grantees include businesses from the manufacturing and IT sectors, or those with a high demand for skilled IT professionals.  At least one of the selected businesses must originate from a county with a population of less than 100,000.  More information about the DYTI program, including how to apply, can be found on DED’s DYTI website,


DYTI applications must be submitted electronically by noon on Monday, April 9, to Questions can be directed to Bradley Pierce via the same email address, or by calling 402-840-0831.