Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 14:00

DWD, Bellin Health/HSHS St. Vincent Hospital Celebrate Graduation of Five Project SEARCH Interns

  1. News Room

Tony Evers, Governor
Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee

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: [email protected]

Project SEARCH Program Prepares Young Adults with Disabilities for Rewarding Careers

GREEN BAY - Grace Weyenberg spent the last nine months enjoying her time meeting and interacting with new people around HSHS St. Vincent Hospital. Thanks to the training and experiences she gained through Project SEARCH, Grace would like to work in the hospital's registration area, checking patients in and helping them around the hospital.

"I learned how important it is to always be open-minded about the many different kinds of the jobs that are out in the workforce and to consider all of your options for work when applying for a job," she said.

"Employers across the state see the value that Project SEARCH interns and graduates bring to the workforce, and we thank sites like Bellin Health and HSHS St. Vincent Hospital for supporting the program," DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said. "We also congratulate the nearly 200 Wisconsinites who are graduating from Project SEARCH this year."

The graduation ceremony at Bellin Health/HSHS St. Vincent Hospital on Tuesday, May 30, in Green Bay, marked the completion of a nine- to 12-month immersive work experience. The interns recounted their hands-on experiences and talked about their future career opportunities.

In addition to the host site, the local internship experience was made possible by partners including the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Cooperative Educational Service Agency 8, Aging and Disability Resource Center, Inclusa, Inc. Lakeland Care, TMG Wisconsin, and IRIS Consulting Agency. Statewide, 28 premier employers are participating in Project SEARCH this year.

Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort among state vocational rehabilitation agencies, area schools, local employers, and long-term care organizations to help interns acquire marketable, competitive, and transferable skills that lead to employment. The interns complete multiple 10-week rotations to maximize exposure to different career paths and learn employability skills in a classroom and hands-on job skills within the business environment.

Started at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in 1996, Project SEARCH has provided workforce training to approximately 1,500 Wisconsin residents since its statewide launch in 2008. For more, visit Project SEARCH Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development efficiently delivers effective and inclusive services to meet Wisconsin's diverse workforce needs now and for the future. The department advocates for and invests in the protection and economic advancement of all Wisconsin workers, employers and job seekers through six divisions - Employment and Training, Vocational Rehabilitation, Unemployment Insurance, Equal Rights, Worker's Compensation and Administrative Services. To keep up with DWD announcements and information, sign up for news releases and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.