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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

Friday, May 19, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Assistant Deputy Secretary Recognizes Project SEARCH Graduates at Ministry St. Joseph Hospital

Project SEARCH program provides youth with disabilities with the work skills needed to succeed in today's economy

MARSHFIELD – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson attended the Project SEARCH graduation ceremony at Ministry St. Joseph Hospital in Marshfield and congratulated the eight students who participated in the program. Project SEARCH provides youth with disabilities with the skills and work experience needed to help them become employed after graduation.

"Since Governor Walker announced the expansion of the Project SEARCH program, the number of sites has grown from seven to seventeen, and with an employment rate over 85 percent, these graduates have set themselves up for future success," DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. "Since 2014, over 330 Project SEARCH participants have graduated from the program, providing themselves with the skills that employers demand, and moving themselves toward greater self-sufficiency and independence."

Project SEARCH is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration. The 9-12 month program provides total immersion in a large community business. Students with disabilities are offered a workforce alternative for their last year of high school. All participants must be deemed eligible for services offered through DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). The program is run through a partnership with DWD and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).

Organizations collaborating in the Project SEARCH program at St. Joseph hospital include the School Districts of Auburndale, Edgar, Marshfield and Pittsville, the Opportunity Development Center, DVR and other community and care organizations.

A Better Bottom Line

Governor 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 former 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 over 16,000 job seekers with disabilities and helped a record 9,490 DVR consumers reach their employment goals during the two most recent federal fiscal years. For more information, visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/