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
Friday, May 13, 2016
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce
WAUKESHA – Today, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell delivered remarks at the Waukesha County Business Alliance's (WCBA) first annual Emerging Leaders ceremony. The ceremony recognized the accomplishments of five individuals, including Andrew Gerbitz, a consumer in DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). All five individuals were recognized for their dedication, inspiration and commitment to their work and community.
"I am honored to be part of such a worthy event recognizing these individuals for their leadership and dedication to their community," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "As our Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides critical supports to help Andrew achieve his employment goals and achieve greater independence, it is Andrew who is taking his entrepreneurial spirit and passion to a new level and charting a path for others to follow. His story is an inspiration to all of us."
Andrew Gerbitz operates Andrew's Voice and presents to groups about his disability and encourages communities to support individuals with Down Syndrome. As a DVR consumer, Andrew has been provided Self-Employment support to further the development of his small business. DVR, in partnership with the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin, has assisted Andrew with a business feasibility study and continued to assist in the development of a formal business plan to strengthen his business. Other supports provided by DVR include long-term job coaching, ongoing case management and peer supports among others.
The WCBA's Emerging Leaders Award highlights tomorrow's leaders that are having a dynamic impact and building a meaningful path that will continue to positively affect Waukesha County. The individuals are recognized for furthering themselves personally and professionally.
Governor Scott Walker launched the year of A Better Bottom Line initiative in 2014 in support of overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. A Better Bottom Line, tailored after Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s initiative with the National Governor’s Association, promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities through recognition, education and investments in programs like DVR.
DVR actively serves 17,000 job seekers with disabilities and helped 4,875 consumers reach their employment goals during the most recent federal fiscal year.