The Project SEARCH Transition-to-Work Program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development.
Core Model Fidelity
- The sole definition of a successful outcome is competitive employment for each Project SEARCH intern:
- Employment in an integrated setting (that is, working alongside coworkers with and without disabilities).
- Year-round work (not seasonal employment)
- 16 hours/week or more
- Paid the prevailing wage
- The program is based on true collaboration among partner agencies. True collaboration requires a willingness among partner organizations to share resources and adapt policies and procedures. The following are active partners:
- Education / Schools
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Community Rehabilitation Providers
- Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services
- Workforce Investment Board (where available)
- Family members
- Project SEARCH is a business-led program. This means that students learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the host business, and that the host businesses are active partners, participating without subsidies.
- The partners provide dedicated, consistent staffing on-site at the host business.
- Program focus is on serving young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism.
- Braided funding is in place between all partners, except the host business:
- Funding is a reallocation of existing resources.
- Funding is sustainable.
- After start-up, the program operates without a need for grant funding.
- Class size is sufficient to create cost-effective resource allocation for all partners.
- There is total immersion of interns at the host business. That is, interns are on site at the business each program day for a minimum of six hours, for an entire academic year. For adult programs that are not tied to the academic calendar, the program operates for a minimum of eight months (academic year less school vacations).
- A designated representative enters program data into Project SEARCH data base.
- Project SEARCH graduates receive effective follow-along services to retain employment.
- Each Project SEARCH program site has a licensing agreement signed with Project SEARCH Cincinnati through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.