Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is a national one-year, high school transition program for students with disabilities between the ages of 18-21 that provides training and education with the goal of obtaining competitive employment.  The program was developed at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 1994. 

Project SEARCH was launched locally at the City of Rochester in September 2010 in collaboration with the Strong Center for Developmental , the Arc of Monroe County, the Rochester City School District, and the City of Rochester.   Key aspects include: 

  • Students attend class on-site at the host business to learn employability skills.
  • Students participate in three 10-week internships focusing on acquiring discreet job skills.
  • Students are supported by a classroom teacher, paraprofessional, and job coach.  This staffing is fully funded by the host school district (Rochester City School District) and partner vocational rehabilitation agency (Arc of Monroe County)
  • There is no cost to the host business to participate in Project SEARCH other than the supply of on-site resources (e.g. classroom, access to phone and copier).

Project SEARCH News

In October 2013, the Rochester City School District (RCSD) received the 2013 Works for Me award from OPWDD (Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities) in the category of youth transition.  Representatives from Arc of Monroe, and Project SEARCH graduate Ashley Pigler were on hand in Albany to receive the award.  While RCSD's Work Expereience Program (WEP) program was the named award recipient, it was Project SEARCH at the City of Rochester (a parternship of the City of Rochester, RCSD WEP, Arc of Monroe, ACCES-VR and OPWDD) that was the impetus for the award as well as the highlight of the award video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARae7SB6sVo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUHarH0RclbGsa4cDWDe9UZA 

Congrats to the Project SEARCH City of Rochester team! 

 Rationale

People with disabilities have the right to choose a path toward education and employment.  However, while freedom of choice is given, the right to work is earned.  Earning the right to work is dependent upon the student’s preparation.

Program Goals 

  • Provide employability skills training to students with significant disabilities through on-site emersion in a business.
  • Provide supports to the business to encourage the hiring of individuals with disabilities.  

City as the Project SEARCH Business Partner

The City is responsible for providing:

  • a minimum of 12 internship assignments
  • classroom and work space for students and staff
  • Orientation of Project SEARCH staff to City Hall, and City staff to the project
  • Participation in ongoing program evaluation

 Project SEARCH Working Committee 

 

Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities               Arc of Monroe 
Susan Hetherington Tammy Reynolds
Kaitlyn Richardson Mike Jarquin
   
Rochester City School District  City of Rochester 
Stephanie Thompson Tassie Demps
Colleen Brindamour Sandra J. Simon
Vanessa Peterson  

 For more information, please contact Sandra Simon at (585) 428-6509 or Sandra.simon@cityofrochester.gov 

SEE ALSO

Education