Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital, Rhinelander, 2022 Community Benefits

Aspirus Health Launches Project SEARCH Program in Rhinelander

Project SEARCH interns
Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital 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.

Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital’s Project SEARCH program features three 10-week rotations where participant interns 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. Students will support departments across the hospital and clinic including Dietary, Housekeeping, Radiology, Primary Care, Specialty Clinics and Behavioral Health.

“Project SEARCH relies on local collaboration to provide staff and resources to help interns in the program achieve their goals,” said Jess Gaedtke, director, Aspirus Medical Group. “We’re honored to partner with the program and interns to give them the experience they need to obtain a meaningful job upon graduation.”

As the business partner, Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital provides 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 four to five hours on the job each day. Seven students joined the program this year.

“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,” said Rod Olson, Project SEARCH Instructor. “Many of our former interns are working in health care and business settings across the Northwoods.” 

Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital is the 30th Project SEARCH location in Wisconsin and joins Aspirus Wausau Hospital and Aspirus Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids as Aspirus facilities in the international program which helps educational institutes partner directly with businesses in the community and provide internships for students.