Zach Bennett (Project Search Student) On the left of Zach is Cindi Ward and Debbi Williams is on the right. They are co-workers in the Environmental Services Department at OhioHealth O'Bleness. They work with Zach on a daily basis.
Project SEARCH is a one-year high school transition program which provides training and education leading to employment for individuals with disabilities. Each student applies and is accepted to the program through a selection committee process. All students must be eligible for services with the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. Students must be high school seniors who have already met their graduation requirements.
The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion in a large business. Each day students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom, and job skills while participating in three internship experiences during the year. Students participate in progress meetings to define their career goal and plan necessary steps to achieve that goal.
Managers at the internship sites work with the Project SEARCH instructor and job coaches to support the students. Students get continual feedback from the internship manager, co-workers, and Project SEARCH staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning, and journaling their key learnings. The ultimate goal upon completion of the program is competitive employment utilizing the skills learned on the internships and throughout the program.