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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

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
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Thursday, June 11, 2015
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

DWD Secretary Newson Congratulates Graduates of Project SEARCH at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

Program provides training and education for high school students with disabilities

MILWAUKEE – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson today visited Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to congratulate the latest graduates of a training and education program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. Project SEARCH provides students with disabilities with the skills and work experience that will help them become employed after high school.

"Project SEARCH creates new opportunities for students to develop workplace skills, prepare for competitive employment and move toward greater independence," Secretary Newson said. "We thank Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and all partners who have worked together to make this program a success."

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion into the business environment. Five days a week, Project SEARCH interns report to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills. During their time in the program, they participate in internship rotations where they gain real-life work experience and that give them marketable, transferable and competitive skills.

DVR staff, teachers and hospital human resources staff participate in the screening and selection process for Project SEARCH interns. Career coaches from the Easter Seals of Southeastern Wisconsin assist the interns on the job to insure that they have the supports they need to be successful. Today's graduating class has eleven students from Arrowhead, Germantown, West Bend, Whitefish Bay, and Brookfield.

In 2014, 65 students with disabilities completed Project SEARCH programs throughout Wisconsin. Since 2008, 203 Project SEARCH interns have completed the program. Besides the program at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Menomonie, there are Project SEARCH sites in Appleton, Madison, Marshfield, Middleton, Waukesha and Milwaukee.

Project SEARCH is part of the Governor's A Better Bottom Line initiative to encourage employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In fiscal year 2014, DVR helped 4,415 job seekers with disabilities to achieve their employment goals.

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