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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 26, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Congratulates Eight Project SEARCH Participants from St. Vincent and Bellin Hospitals in Green Bay

Governor Walker to proclaim June 6 as Project SEARCH Day, recognizing the program as a proven talent development solution

GREEN BAY – Yesterday, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell delivered remarks at the Project SEARCH graduation ceremony at the Brown County Library Central Library in Green Bay congratulating the eight students who participated in the program at St. Vincent and Bellin Hospitals during the 2016-2017 school year . Project SEARCH provides youth with disabilities with the skills and work experience needed to help them become employed after graduation. Since 2014, the program has an employment rate over 85 percent, and under the guidance of Governor Scott Walker, the program has expanded from 7 sites to 17 sites across the state.

"With an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent, Wisconsin's economy is booming, but as I travel the state I still hear from employers of all industries that they are in need of skilled workers," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "Governor Walker recognizes the vital importance of connecting all Wisconsinites to work, and programs administered through DWD's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation like Project SEARCH provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their many abilities and achieve the dignity that comes from work and earning a paycheck."

In recognition of the Project SEARCH program, the current and former participants, host businesses, training providers and other program partners, Governor Walker will proclaim June 6, 2017 as Project SEARCH Day, recognizing the success the program has experienced in connecting youth with disabilities to skills training that provides them with the opportunity to set themselves up for a lifetime of employment success.

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. Vincent and Bellin Hospitals include CESA 7, Aspiro Incorporated, DVR, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services 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 https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/