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With An Eye to the Future

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2015: Project SEARCH Outcome Awards

The mission of Project SEARCH is to prepare young people with developmental disabilities for success in integrated, competitive employment. Project SEARCH is a collaborative partnership that requires at a minimum five core partners: a business, Local Education agencies, Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) and/or State Services for the Blind (SSB), County Developmental Disabilities Divisions and a follow-along provider.

Once a host business is identified, it takes between eight and twelve months to fully plan and implement a successful Project SEARCH program site. Project SEARCH is a true partnership between many state and local agencies and the youth it serves.

Project SEARCH

On July 14, 2015 at the Project SEARCH International Conference, three of Minnesota's four sites from the 2013-2014 classes received Employment Outcome Awards.

  • Medtronic was the first business in Minnesota to establish a Project SEARCH, and was one of 10 sites internationally that had employment outcomes between 90-99%.
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota was one of 58 sites in the 80-89% range;
  • Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center was one of 45 sites at the 60-69% level.

Project SEARCH is growing in Minnesota.

  • Fairview Lakes Medical Center, located in Wyoming, MN started their program in January 2013. Their internship opportunities are in Environmental Service, Facilities, Human Resources, In-Patient Pharmacy, Nutrition Services, Security, and Supply Chain.
  • Hennepin County Medical Center started their Project SEARCH in September 2014. HCMC site interns are assigned three separate 10-week rotations during the school year. These rotations are in departments throughout the hospital allowing for development of a variety of social, emotional, and job skills through real work experiences.

This is quite an accomplishment for our Minnesota sites and a great example of the truly collaborative work that is happening between agencies at both the state and local level and local businesses. Project SEARCH graduates are becoming a part of Minnesota's competitive workforce.