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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

June 30, 2016
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303

Governor Walker Recognizes Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Hospital Project SEARCH Graduates

Milwaukee – Governor Scott Walker joined Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell, Department of Health Services (DHS) Interim Secretary Tom Engels, as well as local and state partners today to celebrate the graduation of eight Project SEARCH interns part of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Hospital program.

“Project SEARCH provides Wisconsinites with disabilities access to opportunities and experiences they might not have otherwise,” Governor Walker said. “Wisconsin employers are always looking for skilled workers and this public-private partnership ensures we can get more people into our workforce.”

This Project SEARCH program is a collaborative effort between the Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Health Services, and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Hospital. It is the only Project SEARCH program in the state solely focused on working with adults who have left high school and are unable to find steady, productive employment. Over 80 percent of Easter Seals Project SEARCH graduates have found community-based employment in the last five years.

Project SEARCH is a one-year, transition program providing training and professional skills to disabled students with the end goal of increasing employment opportunities. Since 2008, over 460 students have graduated from Project SEARCH programs throughout Wisconsin.

Governor Walker significantly expanded Project SEARCH in 2014 when he launched the year of A Better Bottom Line initiative in support of overcoming obstacles to employment for people with disabilities. He signed legislation that committed $35.4 million in additional funding to the Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) training program as a part of the Blueprint for Prosperity initiative, which included $850,000 to expand Project SEARCH across Wisconsin.