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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

May 26, 2017
CONTACT: Tom Evenson, (608) 267-7303

Governor Walker Congratulates Sentry Theater Project SEARCH Graduates

Madison – STEVENS POINT – Governor Scott Walker joined local partners today in celebrating the graduation of six Project SEARCH interns at Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. Project SEARCH is a business-led internship program providing employment opportunities in the workplace environment to Wisconsin youth with disabilities.

“Congratulations to the latest class of Project SEARCH graduates,” Governor Walker said. “A strong Wisconsin workforce is a diverse one – one that celebrates the unique abilities of each and every employee, including those with disabilities. Removing obstacles to employment for people with disabilities is a win-win. It benefits businesses, individuals with disabilities, their families, and the public at large. By helping our workers with disabilities gain the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the workplace through programs like Project SEARCH, we’re improving businesses’ bottom line and spurring growth throughout the state.”

Governor Walker’s 2017-19 biennial budget includes the following initiatives to support the employment of people with disabilities:

Project SEARCH is part of Governor Walker’s Year of A Better Bottom Line. Developed in 1996 by Nurse J. Erin Riehle at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion in a business environment for students with disabilities. In 2014, Governor Walker announced an expansion of the Project SEARCH program and allocated $850,000 to expand the number of Project SEARCH sites in Wisconsin from seven to 27 in the following years. Project SEARCH sites in Wisconsin have an average employment success rate of 88 percent, beating the national Project SEARCH employment rate by 15 percent.