Howard Young Medical Center to Launch Project SEARCH Program

March 6, 2017

Howard Young Medical Center, part of Ascension is the newest location in Wisconsin to be selected as a business partner for Project SEARCH. 

Project SEARCH is a unique, one year business-led, school-to-work program that involves total workplace immersion by combining classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on training for students with disabilities.

Set to launch this fall, Howard Young’s Project SEARCH program will feature 3-month rotations where participant interns will receive real-life work experience that provides them with the skills they need to obtain a job and succeed in Wisconsin’s workforce upon their graduation. 

“Project SEARCH relies on local collaboration to provide staff and resources to help students in the program achieve their goals,” said Kathy Viergutz, Community Service Coordinator, Howard Young Medical Center and business partner liaison for the program.

As the business partner, Howard Young Medical Center will provide a training room with computer access for the interns who are led by a Skills Trainer as they establish individual education plans for participants who will spend 4-5 hours on the job each day. 10 to 12 students are expected to join the program in the first year.

To launch the program, Howard Young is partnering with the Lakeland, Tomahawk and Rhinelander School Districts, Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Headwaters, Inc., Wisconsin Long Term Support System and the Aging and Disability Resource Center.

“All of these partners play an important role for Project SEARCH in our community,” added Viergutz. “The ultimate goal upon program completion is for participants to obtain competitive employment utilizing the job skills learned on the internships and throughout the program.”

Howard Young is the 17th Project SEARCH location in Wisconsin and joins Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Appleton and Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh as Ascension facilities in the international program which helps educational institutes partner directly with businesses in the community and provide internships for students. 

Howard Young along with its community partners will hold a Project SEARCH informational meeting for interested students and their families on Monday, March 20. The meeting will be held from 6-7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Howard Young Medical Center.

For more information on the informational meeting or Project SEARCH, please contact Viergutz at 715.356.8677 or 

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