2009: Project SEARCH is Launched
The primary objective of Project SEARCH is to secure competitive employment for people with developmental disabilities.
Project SEARCH began as a new initiative in Minnesota in 2009. The program model takes place in a business setting where total immersion facilitates the teaching and learning process through continuous feedback and application of new skills. Upon successful completion of the Project SEARCH application and interview process, selected students become Project SEARCH interns. Student interns are provided work opportunities and practical learning experiences to enhance their academic preparation and expose them to the world of work.
Student interns ages 18-21 are provided systematic instruction during three 10-week unpaid internship rotations. Using systematic instruction, interns learn to apply marketable skills such as: communication, financial literacy, critical thinking, self-management, problem solving, leadership, decision-making, flexibility and teamwork.
Interns gain the ability to navigate complex work environments. The goal for each intern is integrated competitive employment upon graduation.
Medtronic was the first business in Minnesota to establish a Project SEARCH site in 2009. Project SEARCH is now an internationally recognized employer driven model with over 240 sites that include Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland and Australia.