Photo: Students learn about STEM and manufacturing while participating in Becton Dickson’s DYTI curriculum.  

Nebraska businesses and schools with an interest in the Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) grant program should take note of changes being announced by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).

Launched by Governor Pete Ricketts in 2015, DYTI has introduced more than 7,000 Nebraska middle school students in over two dozen school districts to manufacturing and information technology (IT) careers and concepts. Historically, DYTI grants have been awarded to for-profit firms, who partner with area middle schools to implement engaging, hands-on manufacturing and IT curriculum designed to inform and inspire youth career exploration in these high-wage, high-demand career fields.

Today, DED is announcing the first changes to DYTI since the program’s inception. The changes are meant to broaden DYTI’s reach and impact. They are summarized below. For additional information on DTYI program requirements and guidelines, visit: Or, browse the program’s FAQ page at

2020-2021 Developing Youth Talent Initiative Program Changes:

  1. The DYTI grant will now shift from an exclusively manufacturing/IT focus to a broader STEM focus, with priority areas expanding to include manufacturing, IT, healthcare and engineering. This means the grant will open up to an entirely new pool of eligible applicants.
  2. The grant period will be extended from 12 months to two years, allowing for more ramp-up time and a longer period of impact.
  3. There will now be more variation in grant award levels, allowing for more flexibility in project size and type while enabling the distribution of funds to a greater number of projects. Projects awarded at $50k or more will now be referred to as “Signature Projects,” while projects awarded at less than $50k will be called “Visionary Projects.”
  4. A new standardized assessment tool will provide consistency in measuring program impact.

DED will begin accepting applications for the 2020-21 DYTI grant on March 2, 2020. For more information, visit:

Or, contact DYTI Coordinator Karrissa Jyles at or 402-471-3765.