FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2014
CONTACT: Laurel Patrick, (608) 267-7303
Year of A Better Bottom Line: Governor Scott Walker Attends Project SEARCH Completion Ceremony
ProHealth Care's Waukesha Memorial Hospital program graduates 12 interns with marketable job skills
Waukesha – Governor Scott Walker was on hand to congratulate twelve Project SEARCH participants for completing internship rotations at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Project SEARCH is a one-year transition program for young adults with disabilities, who are in their last year of high school. It offers the interns the opportunity to learn transferable, marketable job skills, to help them secure employment after high school. Governor Walker supported the expansion of Project SEARCH under his year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the interns here today for your accomplishments and recognize your hard work,” Governor Walker said. “Every student in Wisconsin deserves the opportunity to succeed, and that means you must have the opportunity to learn real-life job skills. The work you’ve done here is the foundation for your success after high school, and your pathway to independence.”
"The Department of Workforce Development is proud of the students graduating from Project SEARCH today," stated Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson. "With the successful collaboration between the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Waukesha Memorial Hospital, together youth with disabilities are gaining valuable employment skills."
Waukesha Memorial Hospital’s Project SEARCH program offers students the opportunity to select three or four internship rotations from 19 departments during their time with Project SEARCH. The Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR) works with each training site to administer the Project SEARCH program. Certified Special Education Instructors and career coaches' work together with interns and hospital staff to problem solve and plan for program success.
Statewide, sixty interns participated in Project SEARCH programs during the 2013-14 school year. Of the 2012 graduates, 87 percent are employed in integrated employment in their community and 30 percent were hired at the location where they completed their internships.
Other Project SEARCH locations include; UW Hospital in Madison, Madison VA Hospital, Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Menominee, Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. Under Governor Walker’s Year of A Better Bottom Line initiative, 20 additional Project SEARCH locations will be added over three years.
2014 – Year of A Better Bottom Line:
- Governor Walker proclaimed 2014 as the Year of A Better Bottom Line to encourage and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line is tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, which details the vast benefits for employers, employees, and communities.
- During the Year of A Better Bottom Line, Governor Walker is directing state agencies to focus on recognizing and promoting public and private programs, companies, and organizations that are improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including veterans and students.
- Under Governor Walker’s Blueprint for Prosperity, the state is expanding Project SEARCH, a program helping young people with disabilities transition from high school to the workplace. The expansion increases the number of participating businesses by 20, up from seven, over three years.
- Governor Walker signed legislation to increase the number of people served by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation by 6,000. This will allow the state to reduce or eliminate the waiting list of persons with disabilities seeking assistance with job skills training and advocacy, so they can enter the workforce.