Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 13:50

DWD, ThedaCare Regional Medical Center Celebrate Graduation of Five Local 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

APPLETON - Taherra Bennwitz first learned about Project SEARCH from her special education teacher in the Little Chute Area School District. After touring the medical center and learning about the program, she was ready to apply.

Taherra spent the last nine months preparing herself for what she hopes will be a housekeeping position within a hospital, navigating the medical center complex and learning new job skills such as proper sanitization techniques.

"I really like vacuuming the most and getting to know the other interns," she said.

The graduation ceremony at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center on Friday, May 26, in Appleton, 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.

"The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development congratulates the nearly 200 Project SEARCH graduates throughout the state for their hard work and accomplishments," said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. "Successful programs like Project SEARCH are preparing members of Wisconsin's diverse and talented workforce for opportunities that employers have available today."

In addition to the host site, the local internship experience was made possible by partners including the Department of Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Cooperative Educational Service Agency Six, Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Lakeland Care, and TMG Wisconsin. 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.