"Project SEARCH" Program Gives Students With Disabilities Work-Force Skills

5:18 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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  • Courtesy: High Point Regional Health System
  • Courtesy: High Point Regional Health System

High Point, NC -- A local project helps students with disabilities gain work experience. The program is called Project SEARCH.

The program gives students a chance to gain on-the-job training experience, which can be added to their resume. High Point Regional Health System (HPR), Guilford County Schools and UNC TEACCH-Greensboro are part of the mission.

The ultimate goal of this program is to help students with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain skills that will make them more employable. 

High Point Regional told WFMY News 2 they have already hired one intern.

As of March 2013, HPR is the first Autism specific program in NC. Four students were selected for the first year program. Students will experience three 10-week internship rotations within various departments at High Point Regional through June 28, 2013.

The companies involved in the partnership were awarded start-up funds from The Guilford Center for the first year. Lincoln Financial also awarded a $20,000 grant to assist with program costs for the first year.

"Success begins with determination to do the right thing every time for our patients," said Career Services Liaison Bobbie Comer in a news release. "These students have demonstrated that determination since the first moments of their interviews. We are thrilled to have them as a part of our team."  

Project SEARCH was founded by Nurse Administrator Erin Riehle and Education Administrator Susie Rutkowski in 1995 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. The program has been implemented successfully in 206 sites in 39 states and four other countries including Australia, Canada, Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Project SEARCH is looking for more students to participate in the program. Visit Project SEARCH's website for more information and applications. Or you can call Guilford Co. Schools for more information on "Project SEARCH" at (336) 370-2319.

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