For more than 75 years, Easter Seals Southeast WI has been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play.
Easter Seals welcomed Governor Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Kleefisch to our Project SEARCH Completion Ceremonies last week. We were joined by the President of Children’s Hospital, the Medical Director of ProHealthCare and Waukesha County Executive, Dan Vrakas and the Mayor of Waukesha, Shawn Reilly. These very busy people took time out of their schedule to honor 24 young people completing their internship at Project SEARCH.
Governor Walker has embraced programs like Project SEARCH to change the high unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities. The "Better Bottom Line," works to help more people with disabilities find competitive employment. Only 20% of adults with disabilities are competitively employed. Project SEARCH is nine month internship for young men and women with a disability. The interns work at a local employer teaching transferrable and marketable jobs skills with the support of job coaches and a teacher. It is a partnership between local employers, schools and a local non-profit. The first Project SEARCH site was in Cincinnati's Children's Hospital and now there are over 300 Project SEARCH sites around the world in a variety of business from manufacturing to banking.
Easter Seals, in partnership with Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the Department of Workforce Development created two Project SEARCH sites in Waukesha and Milwaukee County. We are proud to share that over 70% of our interns have found employment after the completion of their internship with a variety of employers. Children’s Hospital has added seven of our interns to their staff.
Our interns were truly touched that so many VIPs wanted to be part of their day. A standing room only crowd applauded their accomplishments and professional growth. We are so pleased to share that three interns have already attained employment. These talented young people are looking to start their careers, their supportive families and their Project SEARCH experience has given them the tools to set their sights high! Look out world here they come!