Project SEARCH Named a 2014 Business Friends of Education
Project SEARCH, an innovative partnership between the Madison Metropolitan School District, UW Hospital and Clinics, and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital has been recognized as a 2014 Business Friends of Education by State Superintendent Tony Evers.
Project SEARCH was among eight Madison-area business and industry partnerships recognized for their tireless efforts to help ensure students graduate well-prepared for college and career. The awards were presented during the annual Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education Professional Development Conference on Friday, April 11.
"The collaborative partnerships fostered between industry and education play a key role in preparing Wisconsin students for the future," Evers said. "These supportive relationships make a difference in student’s lives and strengthen our communities for years to come."
Now in its fourth year at UW Hospital and Clinics, Project SEARCH is a 12-month training program for high school students with disabilities, ages 18-21. It provides students complete immersion in a business setting combined with classroom instruction on employability skills and personalized feedback structures. Students complete the program equipped with the skills and work experience necessary to transition into jobs.
Bob Scheuer, director of Materials Management at UW Hospital and Clinics, was responsible for initiating a Project SEARCH pilot in 2010. Since then, the program has seen an 80 percent placement rate into paid employment following graduation at various businesses. At least six of these placements have been with UW Hospital and Clinics.
"It’s important that our workforce mirror the diverse publics that we serve," says Scheuer. "Project SEARCH is a great example of UWHC's commitment to our community and to social responsibility. It’s very much in line with the ultimate aim of health care – to help people reach their greatest potential in life. This award is recognition of the dedication and innovative efforts by all members of the Project SEARCH team."
Created by a nurse at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1996, Project SEARCH is dedicated to building a workforce that includes people with disabilities. Today there are more than 140 participating locations in the U.S. and abroad.