If you’re interested in attending a Project SEARCH program, enrolling your young adult child, or in helping young people with disabilities gain the skills they need to get meaningful jobs, there are many ways to get involved with Project SEARCH.
Start a Project SEARCH
If you’re just learning about Project SEARCH, the first step is to gather as much information as you can by exploring this website, and then contact us at ProjectSEARCH@cchmc.org
Once you’ve got a good grasp of the Project SEARCH model, the next step is to identify your partners. You’ll need to have these groups represented and on board to begin the program (if you are outside of the United States, the organizational make-up will be different, but these functions must be represented on your team):
- Education: (School District, Career Technical School, Educational Service Center, community college, etc.) provides an instructor, employability skills curriculum and student interns.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: provides individual career guidance, job coaching, and other supports to help each student gain competitive employment.
- Community Rehabilitation Partner: Provides skills training and job development for student interns at the host business site, and job coaching in their initial job.
- Long-term Supported Employment provider: This is usually a developmental disabilities organization that provides provides long-term job-retention services and support for eligible interns once they secure employment.
- Host Business (can begin planning with the team before host business is identified): provides an on-site training room, a business liaison, and a variety of internships that teach core competitive skills.
The third step is to coordinate a local meeting with all the partners represented. Give an overview of the program and ensure support from all partners.
Once all the partners are committed, one agency needs to sign the Project SEARCH licensing agreement. For this, contact us at ProjectSEARCH@cchmc.org.
A Project SEARCH team member from Cincinnati can present to your local partners to generate excitement and provide knowledge about the program. This session could be a presentation to the proposed host business and any other specific entity (such as the school board), or a meeting with all local community partners to provide education and customize a timeline to meet your needs and interests.
Once you’ve signed the licensing agreement, you will receive Project SEARCH materials and documents. You can utilize the Project SEARCH timeline and implementation plan to get started.
Benefits to Partner Organizations
- Access to a new, diverse, talent stream with skills that match labor needs
- Interns/ employees with disabilities who serve as role models for patients/customers, families, and associates
- Access to a demographic of the economy with intense buying power: people with disabilities represent one of the fastest growing market segments in the US
- Increased regional and national recognition through marketing of this unique program
- Dramatically improved performance and retention in some typically high-turnover, entry-level positions
- Long-term changes in business culture that have far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about hiring people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful
Schools, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Community Service Providers:
- Partnership with other agencies that ensures a holistic approach to serving transition-aged and out-of-school youth
- More efficient usage of existing funding streams: sharing human and financial capital improves outcomes and saves time and resources for all partner organizations
- Improved outcomes (career exploration, work experience, and learning of employability skills increases the overall skill level of the students and the likelihood of job success and retention)