Project SEARCH Expanding throughout Wisconsin
By: Patti Becker, Community Network Specialist
Project SEARCH is a business-led collaboration that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration. A nine to twelve month program, Project SEARCH 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 eligible for services with the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Under Governor Walker’s 2014 A Better Bottom Line initiative, 20 additional Project SEARCH locations are being added over three years.
In 2014, TMG Partnered with Goodwill of Southeastern Wisconsin (GWSEW) in their efforts to become one of the first of seven new Wisconsin Project Search locations. GWSEW Project Search has proven to be off to a running start. Demonstrating their understanding of building community by being a part of the community, they have secured Milwaukee County Zoo as a partner for the 2015-2016 school year. This partnership will provide diverse employment experiences throughout the Zoo operations to include working with: the Zoological, retail, animal commissary, food service, environmental services, grounds and facility maintenance and special events.
Molly Gilgenbach, GWSEW Work Services Director, sums up the excitement and appreciation by saying, “Thank you to each of you for your support so far and we look forward to our continued work together. Here’s to more young people with disabilities getting great training and getting hired into jobs in the community!”
Additional Wisconsin Project Search sites include: Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Menominee, Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Waukesha Memorial Hospital, and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton ASPIRO, Green Bay, Sauk Prairie School District, Sauk City, River Falls School District, River Falls, My Innovative Services, Stevens Point, Opportunity Development Centers., Inc., Wisconsin Rapids, Cooperative Educational Service Agency 5, Portage.
For more information http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dvr/service_providers/projects/default.htm#project_search