Project SEARCH is a workplace-based high school transition program providing students with developmental and intellectual disabilities with job skills and job search skills to prepare for successful conversion from school to employment. Over the course of the full school year, students are immersed in multiple real time work experiences, career exploration and related instruction.
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is proud to host Project SEARCH in two of our inpatient facilities.
At Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, students from nearby Charlestown High School intern in Security, Materials Management, Food Services, Environmental Services and Inpatient Therapy. A job coach provided by Goodwill Industries and a special education teacher from Charlestown High School provide onsite resources and training for the students to learn and perform their job duties.
Spaulding Cape Cod hosts students from the local Riverview School in Food Services, Clerical, Gym Aide and Greeter roles. Onsite job coaches from the Riverview School furnish daily guidance and instruction for the students to master their job skills.
In both of our locations, Project SEARCH has provided the participants and our staff with unforgettable experiences.
Twenty-two-year-old Shadair Kemp has never let obstacles get in his way. Born with a developmental and physical disability, Shadair has to use crutches in order to get around. But they are just a fact of life, not a hindrance. “I don’t let my crutches hold me back from doing anything that I want to do,” Shadair said.
Shadair was one of seven graduates from Goodwill’s first Project SEARCH class at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. The school-to-work program is designed to prepare young adults with disabilities for competitive employment.
“Project SEARCH is a wonderful partnership between Spaulding and Goodwill,” said Colleen Moran, Director of Workforce and Volunteer Programs at Spaulding. “The students learn valuable skills in a real world workplace environment.”
Working with a job site specialist from Goodwill, Shadair completed two internships while at Spaulding, one in the Physical Therapy department and the other in Materials Management. “I liked working there because I got to interact with people,” Shadair said. “I’d say I’m good at talking with people.”
In June 2014, Shadair achieved two milestones: he completed the Project SEARCH program and he graduated from Charlestown High School. Now, Shadair is putting the skills he learned at Spaulding to good use and working as a retail processer at Marshalls.
“Working at Spaulding was great for me,” Shadair said. “It helped me learn what it would take to get a job.”