Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784

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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Friday, August 22, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
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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:

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