Project SEARCH graduates 10
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – May 24 was graduation day for 10 students enrolled in a program for young adults with special needs.
Marshfield’s “Project SEARCH” program held its commencement ceremonies in the Conference Center at the Marshfield Medical Center, which is where the program is headquartered. The Instructor and coordinator of Project SEARCH is Anne Dick, who said graduation is always a very special day for the students, their parents and herself.
Anne also thanked partner agencies and parents for making the program a reality by supporting this year’s graduating interns. She also thanked this year’s class for taking a leap of faith by participating.
“Project SEARCH” is a collaboration between the hospital, the Marshfield School District and the state Workforce Development Department’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman was able to take in his first Project SEARCH graduation ceremony.
The Marshfield program is now in its eighth year, and covers a four-county area. There are now 27 Project SEARCH sites in Wisconsin, including Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and just recently Wausau.
Project Search is a nine- to 12-month program in which the students with disabilities are offered a workforce alternative for their final year of high school, and must be eligible for services from the state division of vocational rehabilitation. The state partners with a local business, and the school district provides an instructor; and “Miss Anne”, as the students call her, never thought she’d be doing this type of teaching.
Students in Project SEARCH participate in areas such as pediatrics, outpatient pharmacy, food and nutrition, housekeeping, sterilization services, and customer service. Dick says there are almost 80 different types of internships available.