Project SEARCH is an international work-transition program that teaches job skills to young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities over the course of a school year, with a new group of student interns starting each fall. There are 623 Project SEARCH programs in 47 states and nine countries.
The presentation took place at the recent Project SEARCH Virtual Conference.
The recognition marked the fourth time Jefferson Health’s program has been honored with a national award by Project SEARCH, and the first time it received the award for 100% employment.
Jefferson Health officials felt this honor was an especially significant achievement, as all 2020 program graduates found jobs during COVID — a time when so many others in the community were furloughed or laid off.
Project SEARCH at Jefferson Health – New Jersey is a collaborative program implemented by partners that include Jefferson, the Y.A.L.E. School, the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey.
In 2016, Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital became the first site in southern New Jersey to partner with Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH interns at Jefferson work in a variety of departments, including Health Information Management, Patient Accounts, Storeroom, Food Service and Environmental Services. Along with classroom instruction through the Y.A.L.E. School, interns use the skills they learn to help them find related positions that match their talents and interests.
Jefferson has hired several interns upon completion of their Project SEARCH internships. For more information about Project SEARCH at Jefferson Health, visit yaleschoolnj.com/about/project-search.
Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is still the administrative headquarters for the organization. Project SEARCH is a business-led, one-year work-preparation program for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Most participants are enrolled while transitioning from high school to work. The hallmark of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion, which facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on training. Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for every program participant.