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Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI)

The Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) creates collaboration between Nebraska businesses and public schools, connecting young Nebraskans to learning opportunities in the workforce that can play an important role in their decision to build their careers in our state.

The intent of DYTI is to support an industry-defined approach to develop a youth talent pipeline for our state’s emerging STEM workforce, especially in Manufacturing, IT, Healthcare and Engineering occupations. Grant recipients will partner with schools to engage 7th and 8th-grade students in participation in hands-on career exploration and relevant workplace learning opportunities. Exposing this next generation of leaders to the advanced skills and knowledge required for STEM occupations encourages an expanding workforce to help Grow Nebraska.

Eligible Grant Applicants

Applicants must be a for-profit Nebraska businesses or consortiums of businesses in any industry. Non-profit hospitals are also eligible. Non-profit businesses can be part of a business consortium or may be invited to apply independently. Eligible businesses, or consortium of businesses, must partner with local public schools to create a sustainable project plan. Letters of support from all entities participating in the application and identification of all cash and in-kind match are also requested within the application.

Eligible Projects

Projects must facilitate 7th and 8th-grade student participation in hands-on STEM career exploration and exposure to STEM skills in order to increase interest and awareness of STEM occupations among area students. Priority may be given to projects with a focus on IT, manufacturing, healthcare and engineering skills. Eligible projects may be structured in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) activities such as:

  • Developing new classroom curriculum
  • Purchasing equipment for a classroom or lab
  • Creating virtual engagement opportunities
  • Implementing a mobile trailer
  • Mentoring
  • Planning new events
  • Training teachers and company staff
  • Conducting industry tours
  • Creating a maker space
  • Providing project competitions and awards
  • Bringing in guest speakers

Application Review Criteria

Applications are evaluated based on the information provided in the application plus information obtained by DED staff.

DED and the review committee may preference applications and projects that also provide:

  • Substantial impact on businesses, community and students
  • Evidence of regional workforce needs and relationship of the proposed project to the need
  • Clear goals and projected outcomes
  • Provide a diverse learning experience
  • Detailed budget and project timeline
  • Strategic evaluation plan (by a 3rd party evaluator for Signature Projects) with a pre and post-assessment of student interest in and knowledge of occupations within the industry
  • Well-planned program sustainability

Applications are reviewed and selected by a committee of leaders from DED and the Nebraska Department(s) of Education (NDE) and Labor (NDOL). The committee will recommend projects to the DED Director for final approval.



DED will provide a required, standard pre and post assessment that should be given to students before and after project engagement (i.e. intervention) each academic year. Signature Projects (those awarded $50,000 or more) are required to utilize a 3rd party evaluator. Applicants may select the evaluator. (Two evaluators that applicants may want to consider are Frank Shimerdla,, and Dick Meyers,; both individuals have worked on several previous DYTI projects.)

DYTI Application

Collaboration between businesses and public schools to expose students to careers in Manufacturing and Tech.

Application Period: May 25, 2023 – June 22, 2023, 4:00pm

To stay up to date on the latest news, subscribe to the Developing Youth Talent Initiative email list here.

Program Resources

For more information, please review the DYTI resources attached below.

For help with AmpliFund, please visit DED’s AmpliFund support portal.

TitleFile TypeDate
01: DYTI 2023 GuidelinesPDFMay 24, 2023
DYTI 2022 GuidelinesPDFApril 28, 2022
DYTI 2022 Reporting GuidelinesPDFApril 28, 2022
DYTI AmpliFund Application User GuidePDFDecember 21, 2021
DYTI ApplicationPDFDecember 21, 2021
DYTI Application FrameworkPDFApril 28, 2022
DYTI FAQPDFApril 28, 2022
DYTI FlyerPDFDecember 21, 2021
DYTI Project SummariesPDFDecember 21, 2021
DYTI Scoring CriteriaPDFDecember 21, 2021

Have questions about DYTI?

Rose Baker

DYTI Program Coordinator