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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 20, 2016
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

State and Regional Partners Join New Class of Project SEARCH Graduates at Ministry St. Joseph Hospital in Marshfield

Governor Walker's Project SEARCH expansion provides opportunities for youth with disabilities

MARSHFIELD –Officials from the Department of Workforce Development joined various partners in congratulating the most recent 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 skills and work experience that will help them become employed after high school. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator Delora Newton represented DWD leadership at the event.

"Project SEARCH provides opportunities for individuals to demonstrate their many abilities to employers, and develop skills to achieve the dignity of work," Governor Walker said. "By expanding training programs like Project SEARCH, we are helping young people with disabilities explore different careers, gain valuable work experience and move toward greater self-sufficiency and independence."

Since 2008, over 220 students with disabilities have graduated from Project SEARCH programs throughout Wisconsin. Governor Walker significantly expanded Project SEARCH as part of his A Better Bottom Line initiative.

Besides the program at St. Joseph Hospital in Marshfield, there are Project SEARCH sites in Madison, Wauwatosa, Menomonie, Appleton, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, River Falls, Sauk City and Wisconsin Dells. The program is run through a partnership with DWD and the state Department of Health Services (DHS).

Project SEARCH introduces participants to the business environment. Interns report five days a week to their employer to learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills. During their time in the program, they participate in internship rogations where they gain real-life work experience that gives them marketable, transferrable and competitive skills.

Organizations collaborating in the Project SEARCH program at St. Joseph Hospital include the Marshfield School District, Opportunity Development Center, the Department of Health Services, DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and others community and care organizations.

A Better Bottom Line
Governor Walker launched the year of A Better Bottom Line initiative in 2014 in support of overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line, tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell's initiative with the National Governor's Association, promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities through recognition, education and investments in programs like DVR.

DVR actively serves over 17,000 job seekers with disabilities and helped 4,875 consumers reach their employment goals during the most recent federal fiscal year. For more information, visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/.

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