As a Project SEARCH provider for over 10 years, Goodwill has kept its eye on opportunities for expansion of services within its service territory. We are pleased to announce Project SEARCH in West Virginia has found a home at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. This will be the state’s first location to host the internship experience.

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.

Project SEARCH serves young people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Typically, these are high school students who are on an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility. The goal for each program participant is competitive employment. To reach that goal, the program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people with significant disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life. The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of skills training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers, and employers.

Students with disabilities who are interested in becoming an a student intern through Project SEARCH should contact Whitney Hatcher, manager of Volunteer Services and Project SEARCH business liaison, at whitney.hatcher@wvumedicine.org.

For more information on Project SEARCH, visit projectsearch.us. For more information on WVU Medicine, visit WVUMedicine.org.

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