Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, Secretary
Department of Workforce Development
201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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 Assistant Deputy Secretary Dernbach Congratulates 6 Project SEARCH Graduates at Kalahari Resort and Convention Center
Over 190 individuals with disabilities graduate from program in 2018
WISCONSIN DELLS – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary BJ Dernbach congratulated the latest class of Project SEARCH graduates from Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. All 6 of Kalahari's graduates have secured community-based employment prior to graduating from Project SEARCH.
"In their third year of the program, Kalahari continues to demonstrate their strong dedication to employing individuals with disabilities," Assistant Deputy Secretary Dernbach said. "Their latest class of graduates leave the program with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for a lifetime of employment success."
Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration that enables youth and young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration in a hands-on work environment.
The cornerstone of the program is total immersion in a business environment. DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation staff, teachers, and business human resource staff collaborate to screen and select Project SEARCH interns. The interns report five days a week to the business and learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills within the business environment. Participants complete multiple 10-week rotations to maximize their exposure to different career paths.
Wisconsin Recognized as a National Leader in Project SEARCH
During this year's Project SEARCH National Conference, held July 24-27, 2017, at Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, PA, Wisconsin Project SEARCH sites were among 198 sites from across the world honored. Three Wisconsin Project SEARCH sites were recognized for having a 100 percent successful employment outcome for the 2015-2016 school year: Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Clinics in Wisconsin Rapids, Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, and Ministry St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. Six additional sites were recognized for achieving successful employment outcomes between 80 and 89 percent and two sites were recognized for successfully placing between 70 and 79 percent of Project SEARCH participants. Through the 2016-2017 school year, Project SEARCH sites in Wisconsin have an average employment success rate of 88 percent, outpacing the national Project SEARCH employment rate by 15 percent.
The 2017-2019 biennial budget that Governor Walker signed last summer includes several initiatives to promote employment for people with disabilities, including:
- Investing $35 million in General Purpose Revenue (GPR) to maintain the maximum federal funding for DVR. As a result, the total funding for DVR will be $185 million over the biennium.
- $7.6 million in funding to support and expand programs that ensure students with disabilities gain the practical skills they need for life after high school. This includes $6.1 million to fund awards for school districts that successfully place students with disabilities in employment as well as $1.5 million to support the developments of school district efforts to connect students with disabilities with employment opportunities.
For more information, please visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov.