Workforce Retraining Initiative Scholarships

Through the Workforce Retraining Initiative, individuals who are un- or underemployed as a result of COVID-19 can receive a scholarship to a Nebraska community college, where theyíll learn new and improved skills to find a rewarding, high-demand career. The initiative is made possible through a grant partnership between DED and the community college system.

Program Highlights:

  • All six Nebraska community colleges will receive funding to support scholarships for the re-skilling of Nebraskans who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of COVID-19.
  • The colleges have identified eligible workforce training programs, and are accepting applications from individuals who are interested in a scholarship to cover the cost of training.

Training Programs

Approved training programs will be different for each participating community college. All programs will provide a recognizable credential (e.g., certification) at the completion of the program that is known to frequently lead to a high-demand job.

The following is a list of college-approved training programs. Please also check with the community college you plan on attending, as they will have a full list of eligible training programs approved for the scholarship.

*We are continuously updating the list of training programs available for scholarships.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Individuals who are currently unemployed or underemployed as a result of COVID-19 are eligible. Specifically, if you meet any of the following employment situations you may be eligible:

  • Unemployed on or after March 13, 2020, as a result of COVID-19
  • Unemployed starting between January 1, 2020, and March 13, 2020, and now unable to find employment as a result of COVID-19
  • Employed for less than 40 hours a week at a job which provides the majority of your income (Primary Job) because of COVID-19, and wish to be employed full-time
  • Employed temporarily at a Primary Job because of COVID-19 but wish to be employed permanently
  • Furloughed or laid-off from a Primary Job on or after March 13, 2020, because of COVID-19 (or had to close your own business which provided the majority of your income because of COVID-19) and are now employed at a new Primary Job with lower wages than your previous employment

Each participating Nebraska community college will clarify additional eligibility requirements.

What is the deadline to apply for a scholarship?

Colleges will accept applications through at least the months of July and August. The colleges will create a waiting list if applicants outnumber allocated scholarships, and may accept applications beyond August. Please refer to the college application for more specific deadline information.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

You can apply online at one of the following Nebraska community colleges:


See Frequently Asked Questions for more information on common questions.