Workforce Retraining Initiative

The key to a thriving economy is a skilled workforce with ample opportunities to succeed. The Workforce Retraining Initiative allocates $16 million to help unemployed and underemployed Nebraskans acquire new or improved skillsets and obtain rewarding careers. DED will employ the state’s community college system, with its training infrastructure and connections to the business sector, to enable this workforce program to assist individuals whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.

If you are looking to apply for an individual scholarship, visit our Workforce Retraining Initiative Scholarship page.

Who is eligible?

  • Nebraska community colleges will send proposals to be reviewed by DED; funds will be granted to the colleges.
  • Individuals who have lost their jobs and/or are underemployed as a result of COVID-19 will be invited to apply to the community colleges for scholarships. Information on these scholarships will be released in July. Please note: individuals will NOT apply to DED.

How can the grant be used?

Funds will be provided to Nebraska community colleges to:


  • Enhance or design training programs that support the upskilling and/or retraining of un- or underemployed individuals in high-demand skills via classroom, virtual/online or on-the-job training.
  • Award scholarships to individual student applicants.
  • Hire, train or retrain career coaches to provide proactive assistance to un- or underemployed students and potential students, in order to match their personal strengths and skills to high-demand employment pathways.

Preparing to apply

A PDF version of the application can be found here to be used in preparation. Please note that DED will NOT accept PDF applications. You must use the hyperlink below to submit your proposal.

Download the User Guide Here
Download Preparation PDF Here

See the Application Guidelines for more information on eligibility, use of funds, instructions on how to apply and the selection process.

Download Application Guidelines PDF Here

How to apply

Community Colleges will submit proposals electronically to DED.

Application deadlines

Proposal Submissions for Community Colleges

Opens: June 16, 2020

Due: June 25, 2020, 9 AM CDT

Scholarship applications will be accepted by Community Colleges starting July 10, 2020

Who Received the Grant?

After the applications close, DED will review all applications and determine which applicants will receive the grant. Scoring details can be found in the application guidelines. Recipients will be notified by email sometime between mid-July and August 1st. You can also log-in to AmpliFund to check the status of your application.





See Frequently Asked Questions for more information on common questions.