Primary Objective

Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Project SEARCH is driven by collaboration with many community partners: A host business, an education partner, a supported employment provider, Vocational Rehabilitation and the local Developmental Disability organization. Ohio Project SEARCH sites are jointly funded by local education providers, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), and are further supported by county boards of developmental disabilities, business partners, and OOD vocational rehabilitation service providers.

Apply Today! Click here for the Online Application

OUR STORY

Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a research environment that fosters visionary thinking and innovation.

It began in 1996, when Erin Riehle was Director of Cincinnati Children’s Emergency Department. Erin felt that, because the hospital served individuals with developmental disabilities as patients, it made sense that they should commit to hiring people in this group. She wondered if it would be possible to train people with developmental disabilities to fill some of the high-turnover, entry-level positions in her department. These jobs involved complex and systematic tasks, such as stocking supply cabinets.

To learn more about the feasibility of her idea, she turned to Great Oaks Career Campuses and the Hamilton County Board of Developmental Disability Services. Through this outreach, Erin met Susie Rutkowski, then the special education director at Great Oaks. Erin and Susie formed a partnership that was instantaneous, and together they turned the idea of filling a handful of jobs in Cincinnati Children’s Emergency Department into a comprehensive, internationally recognized program model—Project SEARCH.

Project SEARCH has grown from one original program site at Cincinnati Children’s to over 650 programs across 48 states and ten countries.  Some of our Ohio business partners include: Fifth Third Bank, Dow Chemical, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Hilton Easton, Cleveland Clinic, Westfield Insurance, Miami University to name a few.

We’ve Grown!

Project SEARCH has grown from one original program site at Cincinnati Children’s to over 650 programs across 48 states and ten countries.  Some of our Ohio business partners include: Fifth Third Bank, Dow Chemical, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Hilton Easton, Cleveland Clinic, Westfield Insurance, Miami University to name a few.

Ohio Health

OhioHealth has earned local and national recognition for serving people with disabilities. In 2007, OhioHealth earned the Best Practice Distinction from the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities. The council again recognized OhioHealth as the 2010 Employer of the Year for Large Employer, signifying their continued commitment to serving the disability community. In collaboration with community and vocational partners, OhioHealth continues to provide internship programs and vocational opportunities for their associates with disabilities.

How Do You Apply?

Interested students must apply, and student interns are accepted through a selection committee process. All students must also be eligible for service with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD).

For additional information or to request an application, contact your home school guidance counselor, Tri-Rivers Career Center Project SEARCH Coordinator, or OOD Counselor.

Alysse Ross

Director of Special Education & Pupil Services

 

Open House
Feb. 15, 2022, 5:30-6:30pm
at Tri-Rivers
Click link for details:

Project Search Event Flyer