WI Department of Workforce Development: Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson congratulates graduates of Project SEARCH at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital

CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722

Program provides training and education for high school students with disabilities

MARSHFIELD –Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson today congratulated the latest 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 the skills and work experience that will help them become employed after high school.

In 2014, 65 students with disabilities have completed Project SEARCH programs throughout Wisconsin. Since 2008, 203 Project SEARCH interns have completed the program. Besides the program at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, there are Project SEARCH sites in Menomonie, Appleton, Madison, Middleton, Waukesha and Milwaukee.

“Governor Walker understands the importance of putting young people with disabilities on a path to independence and economic self-sufficiency. With his leadership, Project SEARCH expansion is continuing in Wisconsin, with seven new sites accepting students for the 2015-16 school year,” Assistant Deputy Secretary said at the graduation ceremony held at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital. “On behalf of Governor Walker, I am pleased to congratulate these graduates and wish them the best for a bright future.”

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion into the business environment. Five days a week, Project SEARCH interns report to Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital to learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills. During their time in the program, they participate in 10-week internship rotations where they gain real-life work experience and that give them marketable, transferable and competitive skills.

Recognizing the many partners who make Project SEARCH possible, Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said, “St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield School District, the Opportunity Development Center and DWD’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation have all shown remarkable dedication to the success of these students.”

DVR staff, teachers and hospital human resources staff participate in the screening and selection process for Project SEARCH interns. Certified Special Education Instructors from Marshfield High School and career coaches from the Opportunity Development Center assist the interns on the job to insure that they have the supports they need to be successful.

DVR has assists over 17,000 individuals with disabilities, and in fiscal year 2014, DVR has helped 4,415 consumers achieve their employment goals.