ProHealth offers internships to adults with disabilities

Published on: 8/27/2013

Waukesha — ProHealth Care is participating in Project SEARCH, a job training program for young adults with cognitive and physical disabilities.

Project SEARCH, an initiative of Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, is an innovative workforce and career development model that benefits the individual, the workplace and the community. The ultimate goal is for interns to gain competitive skills and become employed.

Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, will attend the event, along with ProHealth Care leaders and representatives from Easter Seals. Also attending will be 12 Project SEARCH interns who will be working at Waukesha Memorial and their parents.

Project SEARCH is a one-year program for young adults, 18 to 25 years old, living with disabilities. The program will run from September through June. The interns will experience a total immersion in the business environment by completing 10-week internships in three departments at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.

The interns will work in a variety of areas including food and nutrition services, facilities, logistics, neurosciences, cardiovascular, care management and nursing administration.

Project SEARCH staff, employed by Easter Seals, will assess the skill sets, experience and career goals of each intern and match them to department needs. Each intern will be assigned a mentor from the department.

Because Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort, an instructor and career coaches will work with department leaders and the interns to develop job expectations and job descriptions for their internship. Together they will ensure that these expectations are met and that the interns continue to learn.

The program benefits the host business by enhancing workforce diversity, providing a positive impact on team relations, promoting a positive message to the community, and improving performance and retention in high-turnover, entry-level positions.