Baptist Easley, in conjunction with the School District of Pickens County, South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation and Pickens County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, has partnered with Project SEARCH to help educate students with intellectual and development disabilities. This year’s program, will allow 8 students from Project SEARCH to intern at Baptist Easley performing jobs that will develop their skills for future job placement.
The Project SEARCH Program combines classroom training each morning with hands-on experience in the afternoon. Once the program is complete, the students will be eligible for employment in the community. Baptist Easley is one of 3 hospitals in the state that has partnered with Project SEARCH.
“We are so excited to bring this program to Baptist Easley, says Michelle Scherer, Chief Business Experience Officer. This program gives students a real-life experience of working while also combining classroom education. We are thankful for the partners School District of Pickens County, South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation and Pickens County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, as well as the other 2 programs in the state, Spartanburg Regional Hospital and Parkridge Hospital that have worked hard to help Baptist Easley to launch the program. Project SEARCH will be life changing for the students and their families but also for our employees and our patients.”
Dr. Danny Merck, SDPC superintendent, expressed his excitement for the program as well. “We truly appreciate what Baptist Easley is doing to help our students in this unique way,” he said. “Our commitment to getting students ready for college, career, and citizenship extends to every child who walks through our doors. We are so thankful for business partners like Baptist Easley who see the value of our special needs students, and help them make that transition from school to the workplace. Our whole community will benefit from what is happening with Project Search.”
Project SEARCH, based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is a business-led, one-year work-preparation program for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Most participants are enrolled while transitioning from high school to work. The hallmark of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion, which facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training. Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for every program participant. For more information, visit: projectsearch.us.