Skip main navigation

Outdated or Unsupported Browser Detected
DWD's website uses the latest technology. This makes our site faster and easier to use across all devices. Unfortunatley, your browser is out of date and is not supported. An update is not required, but it is strongly recommended to improve your browsing experience. To update Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge visit their website.

DWD logo

Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, 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

June 12, 2024
CONTACT: DWD Communications

DWD, ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital Celebrate Graduation of Seven Local Project SEARCH Interns

Project SEARCH Program Prepares Young Adults with Disabilities for Rewarding Careers

WAUKESHA – Nicholas Holsclaw spent the past nine months learning new skills and trying new work opportunities at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital through Project SEARCH, a collaborative program overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

Project SEARCH graduates at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital pose for group photo
Project SEARCH graduates at ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital pose for a photo following their graduation ceremony on June 7, 2024. Back (left to right): Zach Steffes, Connor Fredricks, and Brielle Holcomb. Front (left to right): Nicholas Holsclaw, Adia Whaley, Abby Nuoffer, and Tanner Brost.

Holsclaw, whose internship included rotations in the hospital's food service, neurology, and gastroenterology departments, enjoyed the opportunity to work as part of a team and felt a great sense of accomplishment every day while participating in Project SEARCH.

Alongside six other students and adults with disabilities, Holsclaw celebrated the completion of Project SEARCH on June 7, during a graduation ceremony that drew friends and families to ProHealth Care's Waukesha Memorial Hospital. An avid sports fan, he applied for and accepted a part-time position with the Lake Country DockHounds, Wisconsin's newest professional baseball team in the Premier MLB Partner League. Holsclaw will serve as an assistant to the food and beverage manager at the team's home stadium, Wisconsin Brewing Company Park, located in Oconomowoc.

"The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is excited to celebrate the state's nearly 200 Project SEARCH graduates, who have explored new skills, expanded their opportunities, and earned a great sense of accomplishment in the work they have done over the past nine months," said DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek. "In Wisconsin, successful programs like Project SEARCH reaffirm the tremendous skills and talents individuals with disabilities bring to the workforce, and that success would not be possible without the dedicated employers and statewide partners who deliver the program, day in and day out."

The graduation ceremony 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 the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), TransCen CEO, TMG Wisconsin, and the School District of Waukesha. Statewide, 28 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 both employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills in the business environment.

Started at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1996, Project SEARCH has provided workforce training to over 1,800 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 Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.