Transitioning people with disabilities into the workforce

Bob G blog post on employment-Feb2015Last month Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker invited one of ours to his State of the State speech!

Let me explain: after naming 2014 the “Year of the Better Bottom Line” to encourage the hiring and promotion of individuals with disabilities, Governor Walker wanted a number of people with him at the State of the State who were employed thanks to this initiative. One of those newly employed individuals was Danny Gris, who completed the Project SEARCH program here at Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin.

In his speech, Governor Walker explained “The Better Bottom Line” like this:

Last year, we announced a new program called A Better Bottom Line that was patterned after an idea from my friend, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, when he was chair of the National Governors Association. It is about helping employers identify the unique abilities of people who are defined, by some, as having a disability.

The governor explained that the initiative “expanded programs helping transition people with disabilities into the workforce in a way that matched their skills with the needs of prospective employers.” Danny attended the State of the State address with Jeanne Schultz from Waukesha Memorial Hospital (one of our business liaisons) and he described the experience as “really cool”:

I felt proud to sit right in the middle of the second row of guests in the Assembly Chamber. I met Attorney General Brad Schimel and took a tour of his office. After the speech Governor Walker shook my hand and took a picture with me and Jean Schultz!

Danny works at a local grocery store, and the skills he learned at Project SEARCH are helping him to be a great employee. Our state motto is “Forward” and our Project SEARCH graduates are living up to that motto, moving forward: 80% of individuals that come through Easter Seals Project SEARCH sites are happily employed. Our thanks to Governor Walker for being a champion for Danny and hundreds of other men and women like him from across the great state of Wisconsin.

Related Resources;

Easter Seals is a proud partner of Getting Hired, a career resources for people with disabilities, as well as Direct Employers, a job search portal for veterans.


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