A kick-off open house Aug. 23 launched Christiana Care Project SEARCH, a nine-month school-to-work program for students with disabilities.
Christiana Care is the first employer in Delaware to join the national program. Nine students started internships in several departments starting Aug. 30.
“Christiana Care Project SEARCH provides real-life work experience to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping them make successful transitions from school to productive adult life,” says Carvella Jackson, professional recruiter in Recruitment Services.
At the open house, students and their parents received an introduction to Christiana Care, mingled with departmental managers and asked questions.
Participation in Project SEARCH offers Christiana Care access to a trained labor pool, reduced recruitment costs, improved retention rates in high-turnover positions, workforce diversity and local, state and national recognition.
Students spend the first two weeks of the program completing orientation in Christiana Care’s culture and facilities. Worksite rotations begin immediately following the orientation phase of the program and typically include three to four sites per student by the end of the program.
Job coaches, teachers, managers and students work together to identify worksites based on the student’s previous work experience, interests and skills assessment. For each worksite rotation, students prepare a resume, interview with the department manager and arrange scheduling.
Students can spend several weeks to several months at each worksite, depending on the complexity of the job, tasks they need to learn and how they perform.
Project SEARCH began in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. There are now more 140 sites in 40 states, Australia and the United Kingdom.