Project SEARCH Hamilton Medical Center
About Project SEARCH
Project SEARCH is a one year, high school transition program which provides training and education leading to employment for individuals with disabilities. Whitfield County Schools and Dalton Public Schools in conjunction with Hamilton Medical Center, Cross Plains Community Partner and Vocational Rehabilitation sponsor the program. Each student applies to the program and is accepted through a selection committee process. Adults with disabilities may apply and be accepted if there is space available. All students (high school and adults) must be eligible for services with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Service to participate. Project SEARCH began its inaugural year fall of 2009.
The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion in a large business. For five days a week, students report to the business, i.e. Hamilton Medical Center, learn employability skills in the classroom and job skills while participating in a variety of internships/experiences. Managers at the internship site work with the Project SEARCH staff to support the students during the day. Students get continual feedback from the internship manager, co-workers and Project SEARCH staff. The program has a certified special education teacher and job coach that work with both the students and the hospital staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning and journaling their key learnings. The ultimate goal upon program completion and graduation utilizing the skills learned on the internships and throughout the program is employment.