Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) Funding: A Boost for Career Exploration in Fremont, Nebraska

Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) Funding: A Boost for Career Exploration in Fremont, Nebraska Main Photo

29 Nov 2023


In partnership with Fremont Public Schools, the Greater Fremont Development Council, Nebraska, has recently secured two significant grants through the Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) program, administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. These grants are set to bring about a transformative change in the career development opportunities available to students in Fremont, Nebraska. Funding from the DYTI program is set to enhance educational opportunities in the Fremont area.

Empowering Middle School Students

The first grant, a DYTI grant for middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) enhancement, is a remarkable step forward for Fremont Middle School. The funds, totaling $200,000, will be allocated to equip and implement 7th and 8th-grade CTE programming. The focus areas for this grant include Mechatronics (Automation and Robotics), Computer Aided Machining, and Health Occupations.

According to Hope Pierce, Coordinator of Communications and Secretary to the Board of Education at Fremont Public Schools, this grant will be instrumental in preparing middle school students for career opportunities and training that align with the new Fremont High School CTE Center opening in August 2024. It will provide these young learners with early exposure to high-demand career fields, setting them on a path to success.

Strengthening High School Education

The second grant, a DYTI - Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) II grant for 7-12th grade Career and Technical Education, is a game-changer for Fremont High School. With an award of $500,000, this grant will support the establishment of CTE programming at Fremont High School. The new CTE Center, set to open in 2024, will house six distinct labs, offering students exposure to various career pathways.

The CTE programs at the high school, made possible by this grant, include Welding, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, CAD/CAM, Mechatronics, and Health Occupations. Students can access education and training in high-wage, high-demand, and high-skill areas, leading to college credits and trade certifications while still in high school.

The Role of the Greater Fremont Development Council

The partnership between Fremont Public Schools and the Greater Fremont Development Council (GFDC) has been crucial in securing these grants. GFDC played a pivotal role in engaging local industry partners to identify high-skill, high-demand, and high-wage opportunities within the community and surrounding areas.

Megan Skiles, President and CEO of GFDC, highlighted the importance of this partnership in fostering early career exploration for students. The collaboration between GFDC and FPS ensures that the grants align with the local economy's needs, further enhancing the community's growth and development.

Long-Term Goals and Expectations

With the imminent opening of the FHS CTE Center in August 2024, the long-term goals and expectations for the impact of these grants are substantial. Mark Shepard, Superintendent of Schools, emphasized the opportunities the six CTE programs would provide. Students can earn high school and community college credits, ultimately leading to degrees and trade certifications. Fremont has previously seen success with welding partnerships with Metropolitan Community College and local industries, a testament to the potential of such programs.

The grants are not given directly to students. Instead, they're used to outfit the CTE center with industry-standard equipment. This provides students with early exposure and hands-on experience in relevant fields, allowing them to enroll in and earn college credits in 3-5 courses within a specified program while still in high school. This reduces the financial burden on families and better prepares students for future career opportunities.

The DYTI funding secured by the Greater Fremont Development Council and Fremont Public Schools represents a significant investment in the future of Fremont's youth. With the implementation of new CTE programs at middle and high schools, students are set to gain valuable skills and knowledge in high-demand fields. These grants benefit the students and contribute to the local economy's growth and development. Fremont, Nebraska, is on the path to nurturing a generation of skilled and talented individuals who will be well-prepared for the workforce and contribute to the prosperity of their community.