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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Opens 2019 Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative Grant Application Process

Media Contacts:  

Eric Maher, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1974

Kate Ellingson, Economic Development, 402-471-




LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) will accept applications until April 15, 2019 for the next round of grant funding from the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI).


“We are connecting the next generation of Nebraskans to the great career opportunities that are waiting for them right here in Nebraska,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The DYTI program is not only helping to increase that awareness, but is also developing students’ interest and skills in high-growth industries where talent is needed.”  


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.  To date, DYTI has reached over 7,000 students across 23 school districts.


DYTI will distribute a total of $250,000 between at least two for-profit businesses during the 2019-2020 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 15 application deadline, DYTI grantee recommendations will be referred to Governor Ricketts by an internal DED review committee. 


“Nebraska’s most important resource is its people,” said DED Director Dave Rippe.  “By investing in our people at an early age, making sure they are aware of the opportunities awaiting them tomorrow, we are truly investing in Nebraska’s future.” 


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 by clicking here.


DYTI applications must be submitted electronically by noon on Monday, April 15, to  Questions can be directed to Bradley Pierce via the same email address, or by calling 402-840-0831.