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DWD logo

Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

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

May 13, 2022
CONTACT: DWD Communications

DWD, UW-Stout, Celebrate Graduation of Five Local Project SEARCH Interns

Project SEARCH Program Prepares Young Adults with Disabilities for Rewarding Careers

MENOMONIE – Menomonie High School Student Jin Her has spent the last nine months gaining his confidence and improving his work skills through Project SEARCH at UW-Stout.

"Project SEARCH is a great program," he said. “I enjoyed going to all the different departments on (UW-Stout's) campus and seeing what they do for work. I also enjoyed transition week, when we visited other businesses or areas on campus."

Thanks to Project SEARCH and the skills he learned, he will soon begin working at Walgreens, where he plans to save his wages to help him obtain his driver's license.

"The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development celebrates over 180 Project Search graduates throughout the state, who have explored new skills, expanded their opportunities and earned a sense of pride through rewarding work," said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. "In Wisconsin, some 171,000 people with disabilities are not attached to the labor market, yet we know many want to work. With our record-low unemployment rate, supporting these individuals in achieving their employment potential has never been more important."

The graduation ceremony at UW-Stout on Friday, May 13 in Menomonie, marked the completion of a nine- to 12-month immersive work experience. The interns recounted their hands-on experiences and talked about their future career opportunities.

In addition to the host site, the local internship experience was made possible by partners including L.E. Phillips Career Development Center, TMG IRIS, Inclusa, and My Choice Wisconsin. Statewide, 25 premier employers are participating in Project SEARCH this year.

Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort among state vocational rehabilitation agencies, area schools, local employers, and long-term care organizations to help interns acquire marketable, competitive, and transferable skills that lead to employment. The interns complete multiple 10-week rotations to maximize exposure to different career paths and learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills within the business environment.

Started at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1996, Project Search has provided workforce training to nearly 1,500 Wisconsin residents since its statewide launch in 2008. For more information, visit Project Search Wisconsin.


Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions – Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.