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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
Thursday, June 2, 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

DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Joins Children's Hospital of Milwaukee to Congratulate Project SEARCH Graduates

Innovative program allows youth with disabilities to develop in-demand skills

MILWAUKEE – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell delivered remarks congratulating Project SEARCH graduates from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Project SEARCH combines work experience and classroom instruction at a work-site to provide career skills to youth with disabilities.

"Health care is an economic driver for the state of Wisconsin, and these talented Project SEARCH graduates are getting real-life work experience for in-demand occupations," Governor Scott Walker said. "As our state's economy continues to grow and add jobs, we need to ensure all individuals who want a job should have the opportunity to find a job. To that end, programs like Project SEARCH help build a foundation for job seekers with disabilities to achieve greater self-sufficiency and brighter economic futures."

Project SEARCH combines hands-on work experience at a local business with classroom instruction. Interns report five days a week to their employer to learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills. Since 2008, over 450 students with disabilities have graduated from Project SEARCH programs throughout Wisconsin.

"Project SEARCH has created opportunities for hundreds of Wisconsin youth with disabilities," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "We thank the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for opening their doors to these youth and allowing them to demonstrate the many abilities they bring to employers."

Organizations collaborating in the Project SEARCH program at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin include Easter Seals, the school districts of Germantown, Elmbrook, Shorewood, Brown Deer, Whitefish Bay, Northern Ozaukee, and Nicolet, DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the state Department of Health Services and other community organizations. Today's graduation at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin included 12 youth with disabilities.

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 the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation website