Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 22, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
Year of a Better Bottom Line: Governor Scott Walker Congratulates Project SEARCH Graduates
Madison – Today, Governor Scott Walker congratulated eight Project SEARCH graduates on completing internship rotations at UW Hospital and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison. 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, which helps them secure employment after high school. Governor Walker supported the expansion of Project SEARCH under his year of A Better Bottom Line initiative.
"I want to congratulate the students graduating today, who are using their unique skill-sets to find success within the business environment," said Governor Walker. "Programs like Project SEARCH, and employers like UW Hospital and Veterans Hospital provide crucial opportunities to our youth with disabilities and help them find a pathway to employment and independence. I look forward to many more graduation ceremonies as we continue to expand this program."
Students in the Project SEARCH program at UW Hospital and William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital reported five days a week and received classroom instruction on employability and hands-on skills within the business environment. With 20 available internship rotations at UW Hospital and 13 at Veterans Hospital, students participated in internship rotations that best matched their strengths and their career goals and interests. Interns select three to four internship rotations 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.
Statewide, sixty interns participated in Project SEARCH programs during the 2013-14 school year. Of the 2013 graduates, 87 percent are employed in integrated employment in their community and 33 percent were hired at the location where they completed their internships.
Other Project SEARCH locations include; Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Menominee, Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, 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. The first round of seven new sites were announces in July and will begin in the 2015-16 school year.
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.