Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH Overview

Project SEARCH is a unique, business led, one year school to work transition program that takes place entirely in the workplace. The selected students will work in three internships over the course of the year in combination with classroom instruction, goal setting, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. Each student works with a team that includes their family, an instructor, a department mentor, rehabilitation counselor and employment specialists to create their employment goal and to support the student during their transition from school to work.

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More About Project SEARCH

  • Admission Criteria

    • Be 18-21 years of age
    • Referred by a participating school district
    • Have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
    • Ready to graduate upon completion of the Project SEARCH program year
    • Strong desire to achieve a job in the community
    • Family support
  • Worksite Rotations

    Each student participates in three internships supported by an onsite employment specialist and supervised by a Mercyhealth manager. A special education teacher oversees the students’ IEPs and provides daily classroom instruction at the beginning and end of each day.

    Project SEARCH internships at host sites are unpaid, similar to other internship programs, but are individually created to focus on each student’s interests and work potential. Sites include:

    • Pharmacy
    • Operating Room
    • Central Distribution
    • Human Resources
    • Environmental Services
    • Food Services
    • Sterile Processing
    • Pediatrics
    • Mail Room
    • Cancer Center
    • Pain Center
    • Physical Therapy
    • OB GYN
  • Classroom Curriculum

    Throughout the school year, students participate in a functional academic curriculum that stresses employability and independent living skills. Major classroom focus areas include:

    • Team Building
    • Workplace Safety
    • Technology
    • Self Advocacy
    • Maintaining Employment
    • Financial Planning
    • Health & Wellness
    • Preparing for Employment
  • Need More Info?

    Contact Macy Kellenberger, 779-774-1027

Project SEARCH at Mercyhealth Rockford, IL

Project SEARCH Partner logos Mercyhealth, RAMP, District 100 and DHS

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Project SEARCH Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital DeKalb, IL

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