High School Transition Program Adult Internship Program The Arc Baltimore’s Project SEARCH is an innovative one year internship program for motivated individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Both the Project SEARCH High School Transition Program and the Project SEARCH Adult Internship Program take place entirely in a host business. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and relevant job-skills training through strategically designed internships. Project SEARCH provides real-life work experience to help young adults with significant disabilities successfully transition from school or more supported work settings to competitive individual employment in the community. The goal of every Project SEARCH program is 100% employment for graduates. Highlights of the program: Over the course of a school year individuals participate in three, 10-week unpaid internships for 4-5 hours a day to learn competitive, marketable and transferrable job skills. The host business provides access to an on-site classroom for up to 12 interns and internship opportunities. Each site is staffed by a special education teacher, a program coordinator and job coaches to meet the educational and training needs of the interns. Interns also work on employment skills for approximately 1-2 hours a day in areas such as: Team Building, Workplace Safety, Social Skills, Communication, Money Management, Interviewing Skills, Technology and Keeping a Job.
Project SEARCH has grown from one original program site at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996 to over 300 across 43 states and four countries. The Arc Baltimore’s Project SEARCH programs are currently driven by a collaboration of the following community partners: Project SEARCH High School Transition Program: University of Maryland, The Founding Campus University of Maryland Medical Center Project SEARCH Adult Internship Program: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Northwest Hospital Additional Partners: Baltimore City Public Schools Community College of Baltimore County Sheppard Pratt Health System MSDE Division of Rehabilitation Services
Project SEARCH High School Transition and Adult Internship Programs
Why programs like Project SEARCH are so important: There is a significant gap in employment rates between people with and without disabilities, and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the disparity in employment rates is even greater The majority of students with significant disabilities will graduate high school with a Certificate of Completion vs. a diploma - precluding them from most traditional employment opportunities Only 15% of people with IDD have paid work in the community even though most want to work Hiring a Project SEARCH Graduate can benefit your Business: Access to an underutilized and diverse talent stream with strengths that can be matched to your business needs Add highly motivated people to your workforce Promote an inclusive culture that is appealing to employees and customers Better retention rates in high turnover positions and increased productivity are possible Enhance your organization’s commitment to public service, and increase opportunities for recognition, awards and publicity as a community leader Access to a demographic of the economy with intense buying power: people with disabilities represent one of the fastest growing market segments in the U.S. Hiring a Project SEARCH Graduate can benefit the Community: Project SEARCH helps people with IDD become working taxpayers rather than recipients of public benefits In Maryland, the average cost per person to participate in a public vocational rehabilitation program is nearly $4,500. That cost is paid back in 2-4 years through taxes and reduced reliance on public benefits Individuals with disabilities who went to work after taking part in public vocational rehabilitation programs contributed more than $46 million to the Maryland economy in their first year working
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