Staff, patients and those who’ve visited Mission Hospital over the past several months may have seen a group of folks wearing bright orange shirts. Mission Health has been proud to welcome the participants in Project SEARCH — 11 interns, their instructor and their job coach — for the 2016-17 school year. And now, Project SEARCH is accepting applications for next year’s group of interns.
Project SEARCH is an international program with about 400 sites around the world, but this year is a first for Asheville. A partnership between Mission Health, The Arc of North Carolina, A-B Tech, NC Vocational Rehabilitation and Smoky Mountain MCO, Project SEARCH is a one-year internship program for students with developmental disabilities. Its goal is to help the students, who range in age from 18 to 30, achieve their goal of securing meaningful, competitive employment.
Participants are selected through a rigorous application process and then begin the program with a three-week “boot camp” at A-B Tech and completing the onboarding process to work at Mission. This year, 10 departments throughout Mission Hospital and the Mission Health home office are serving as job sites.
“Some of the roles are more clerical in nature,” said Emily Danciu-Grosso, Project SEARCH instructor. “Others are more focused on interacting with patients and the public.” Throughout the course of the program, which generally follows the A-B Tech school year schedule, the interns will rotate through three different job sites, spending 10-12 weeks in each. “This model is designed to help the interns develop several skills that will help them build their careers,” said Danciu-Grosso, “and by trying different things, they are more able to discover their passion and calling.”
Applications for the 2017-18 academic year are due by 5 pm on February 28. To request an application or for more information, contact:
Emily Danciu-Grosso, Project SEARCH Instructor
Assistant Regional Director, The Arc of North Carolina