5.2 Core Model Fidelity 2018-02-09T13:46:45+00:00


The Project SEARCH Transition-to-Work Program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development.

Core Model Fidelity

  1. The sole definition of a successful outcome is competitive employment for each Project SEARCH intern:
    • Employment in an integrated setting (that is, working alongside coworkers with and without disabilities).
    • Year-round work (not seasonal employment)
    • 16 hours/week or more
    • Paid the prevailing wage
  2. The program is based on true collaboration among partner agencies. True collaboration requires a willingness among partner organizations to share resources and adapt policies and procedures. The following are active partners:
    • Businesses
    • Education / Schools
    • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Community Rehabilitation Providers
    • Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services
    • Workforce Investment Board (where available)
    • Family members
  3. Project SEARCH is a business-led program. This means that students learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the host business, and that the host businesses are active partners, participating without subsidies.
  4. The partners provide dedicated, consistent staffing on-site at the host business.
  5. Program focus is on serving young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism.
  6. Braided funding is in place between all partners, except the host business:
    • Funding is a reallocation of existing resources.
    • Funding is sustainable.
    • After start-up, the program operates without a need for grant funding.
    • Class size is sufficient to create cost-effective resource allocation for all partners.
  7. There is total immersion of interns at the host business. That is, interns are on site at the business each program day for a minimum of six hours, for an entire academic year. For adult programs that are not tied to the academic calendar, the program operates for a minimum of eight months (academic year less school vacations).
  8. A designated representative enters program data into Project SEARCH data base.
  9. Project SEARCH graduates receive effective follow-along services to retain employment.
  10. Each Project SEARCH program site has a licensing agreement signed with Project SEARCH Cincinnati through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.