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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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/news/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Deputy Secretary Maxwell Congratulates Second Class of Project SEARCH Graduates from Milwaukee County Zoo

MILWAUKEE– Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Georgia Maxwell joined Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer and provided remarks congratulating the most recent class of Project SEARCH program graduates from the Milwaukee County Zoo. This year's class of 11 graduates marked the second class from the Milwaukee County Zoo. The Milwaukee County Zoo is only the second zoo in the nation to participate in Project SEARCH.

"Yesterday, Governor Walker proclaimed June 6, 2017 as 'Project SEARCH Day' to highlight the accomplishments of all current and former participants of this fantastic program and recognize the impact that Project SEARCH has on the lives of these talented members of our workforce," Deputy Secretary Maxwell said. "It was an honor to share this day with the 11 graduates, their parents and guardians, their mentors and officials from the Milwaukee County Zoo."

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), local school districts, community care providers and local businesses.

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/