Students with Disabilities Gain Career Skills at Providence Health-Northeast

Project SEARCH Interns at Providence Health-Northeast
First class of Project SEARCH Interns at Providence Health-Northeast 

Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, when the Director of the Emergency Department wondered if high-turnover, entry-level positions in her department could be performed by people with developmental disabilities specifically trained and practiced in complex and systematic tasks. This would not only help fill these important roles at the hospital, but it would also provide the individuals trained in the program with an opportunity to to be a valued, productive part of a professional team. 

Now, more than 50 years later, Project SEARCH has grown to a continuously expanding network of sites around the world. Providence Health is proud to be a part of that network. 

Through Project SEARCH, Providence Health-Northeast and Richland School District 2 are working together to provide valuable work/life skills to high school students with disabilities.

The program's interns rotate through a curriculum of skill sets related to dietary, environmental services, surgical services, IT, materials management, and the Emergency Room. All positions and tasks performed by participants are thoroughly vetted to ensure they are appropriate for the students so that the young adults can achieve success and provide valuable assistance in a way that is safe for the students, staff, and patients.

Each Project SEARCH program lasts one year, and includes additional work life training such as professional expectations, nutritious meal choices, and communicating with co-workers and colleagues. Approximately 75% of the interns find competitive employment within a year after completing the program.

Justin was shy and reserved when he started. However, as he progressed through his internship, he learned how to communicate with his team, he learned the ins and outs of the typical work day (clocking in and out, checking in with management upon arrival and departure, etc.), and learned valuable skills and tasks throughout the kitchen. - Mac Sedgwick, Dietary

Brion was eager to work from the start. In his time here he was very goal oriented and very much wanted to be part of a team. This is the best possible combination of work attributes anyone can have to be successful at anything they wish to do. - Craig Frick, Environmental Services

Jaylen was a great worker, he was willing to work, had appetite for knowledge, caught on quick, and was an asset to the department. - Ernest Scott, Materials Tech

Haley was professional and helped us get quite a bit accomplished.  There were several individuals on our team who worked closely with her and they all enjoyed getting to know her and having her be a part of the IT team. - John Davis, Information Technology

Read the press release form our first installment of Project SEARCH here.

Jaylen Working in Materials Management

Justin working in Dietary with
instructor Stephen Cross

Haley working in IT

Steven Cross and Justin Project SEARCH