As U.S. businesses struggle to find employees, a local program is filling employment gaps with a smiling workforce of young adults with disabilities
RED BANK, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES, September 17, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Project SEARCH is a domestic and international program with approximately 600 sites serving young people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. In partnership with local non-profit, Family Resource Associates (FRA), Project SEARCH is on track for a 100% successful placement rate for graduates of the program. According to Phillip Duck, the Director of Employability at FRA, “Typically, these are high school students who are on an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility. Our specific program, which runs from August through June, is at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. In addition to high school students, we also serve young adults who are beyond school age. The goal for each intern is to secure competitive employment upon graduation in June. To reach that goal, we provide them with real-life work experience and training in employability and independent-living skills.”
The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of skills training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers, and department supervisors at the hospital. As a result, at the completion of the training program, students with significant intellectual disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs.
Project SEARCH works with host businesses such as the Monmouth Medical Center, to train students for employment upon graduation. Although the host business is under no obligation to hire any of the interns, Monmouth Medical Center has already employed two graduates from the 2021 program. Jarred is working in Materials Management and Anthony has taken a position in Food Services. "Training from co-workers shows you how each department runs based on their experience which helps you to learn everyday," Jarred explained, when asked how the program helped prepare for employment. "When you go through 3 internships, always seek advice and tips from your mentors to help you learn skills to use in the workplace."
In fact, 100% of the interns from the first-year program (2019-2020) are currently working, and the same result is anticipated for the group that just recently graduated in June of 2021. “Three of this year's eight graduates have already been placed in jobs,” Duck reports. “We are actively working with the other five to find integrated, competitive work opportunities.”
Eight new interns will begin orientation for the Project SEARCH 2021-22 class starting this month, with the full training program officially beginning in September. Project SEARCH will begin recruiting for the September '22 class in the fall. Interested parties can learn more about the Project SEARCH organization at www.projectsearch.us. Monmouth County residents that are interested in applying can download the application here.
Monmouth Medical Center Project SEARCH
Source: EIN Presswire