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Project SEARCH-Smithsonian
In September of 2013, twelve young adults with developmental disabilities will participate in a replication of Project SEARCH at the Smithsonian Institute in partnership with SEEC and Ivymount School, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS).

Project SEARCH-Smithsonian was initiated as result of the outstanding outcomes of replications of the program at the National Institutes of Health and Montgomery County Government in collaboration with the SEEC and Ivymount School. Project SEARCH-NIH is entering its fourth year. Project SEARCH- Montgomery is entering its second year. The hiring rate of interns averages 70% in positions ranging from 20-40 hours a week paying competitive wages and benefits.

About Project SEARCH-Smithsonian
Project SEARCH is a school-to-work transition program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program model was developed at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996 and has been duplicated more than 200 times nationwide and in five countries. The goal of the program is to help participating interns develop knowledge and skills that will lead to success in the workplace, and long-lasting paid employment. During the course of a typical school year, Project SEARCH interns will be immersed in the Smithsonian workplace, receiving classroom instruction and rotating among three distinct 10-week internships in positions that are meaningful to the mission of the Department to which they are assigned and are based on each jobseeker’s strengths and interests. Project SEARCH partners provide consistent on-site staff including a special education teacher and job coaches.. The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, job coaches, and employers. As a result, at the completion of the training program, students with significant intellectual disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs.

Benefits of Project SEARCH

Interns:

• Participate in a variety of internships within the host business
• Acquire competitive, transferable and marketable job skills
• Gain increased independence, confidence, and self-esteem
• Obtain work based individualized coaching, instruction and feedback
• Develop linkages to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and other adult service agencies

Businesses:

• Access to a new, diverse, talent stream with skills that match labor needs
• Gain intern/employees with disabilities who serve as a role model for customers
• Access to a demographic of the economy with intense buying power. (People with disabilities
and their families represent one of the fastest growing market segments in the US.)
• Experience increased regional and national recognition through marketing of this unique program
• Increased performance and retention in some high-turnover, entry-level positions

Project Search 2014-2015

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