Project SEARCH program launches at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital

A signing ceremony to mark the start of a yearlong Project SEARCH work-transition program at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital in Turnersville was recently held for five young adults from the Sewell-based Bankbridge Regional High School.

Throughout their internship at the hospital — which will begin Wednesday — the students will gain experience and learn relevant, marketable skills geared toward their individual employment goals.

Jefferson Washington Township Hospital is the latest of Jefferson Health’s New Jersey hospitals to establish a Project SEARCH program.

In 2016, Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital became the first site in South Jersey to collaborate with the international program, which is geared toward young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Jefferson’s successful and award-winning program expanded in 2021 to Jefferson Stratford Hospital. With the program now at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, even more area students will intern in several hospital departments. Each Jefferson Health – New Jersey hospital offers many of the students employment opportunities after they complete their internships.

The new Project SEARCH program is a collaboration between Jefferson Health, Project SEARCH, Gloucester County, the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Bankbridge School. Among those who spoke at the signing event included Frank DiMarco, deputy director, Gloucester County board of chosen commissioners, and Autum Shingler-Nace, vice president of hospital operations, Jefferson Washington Township Hospital.