Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
Over 190 individuals with disabilities set to graduate from the statewide program in 2018 
WEST BEND – Governor Scott Walker joined members of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and West Bend Mutual Insurance today to recognize 9 new Project SEARCH graduates at West Bend Mutual Insurance in West Bend. Project SEARCH is a business-led collaboration that enables youth and young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration in a hands-on work environment.

“Congratulations to each of the graduates today who are joining more than 190 other Wisconsinites in graduating from Project SEARCH this year,” said Governor Walker. “With almost nine out of every ten graduates finding work immediately after graduating or soon after, it’s clear this program is giving the best skills to young adults with disabilities that will help them realize new found independence through work.”

Project SEARCH is a priority for Governor Walker. Under his leadership, the program is experiencing a significant expansion, growing from a single site during the 2010-2011 school year to 24 sites during the 2017-2018 school year.

The 2017-2019 biennial budget includes several initiatives to promote employment for people with disabilities, including:

  • $35 million to maintain the maximum federal funding for DWD’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). As a result, the total funding for DVR is $185 million over the two-year budget.
  • $7.6 million in funding to support and expand programs that ensure students with disabilities gain the practical skills they need after high school. This includes $6.1 million to fund awards for school districts that successfully place students with disabilities in employment as well as $1.5 million to support the developments of school district efforts to connect students with disabilities with employment opportunities.

More information on Project SEARCH can be viewed here.

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