Extended Transition - Project SEARCH
Preparing Students with Significant Disabilities for Success in Integrated, Competitive Employment.

Documents & Files
Project SEARCH Frequently Asked Questions
Project SEARCH Frequently Asked Questions PDF
Project SEARCH Overview
Project SEARCH Overview PDF
Program Benefits for Partners
Program Benefits for Partners PDF
Guidance for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Support of Participants in Florida’s Project SEARCH
Guidance for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Support of Participants in Florida’s Project SEARCH PDF


Project SEARCH Overview

Project SEARCH is a nine-month transition-to-work internship program for people with disabilities. It is targeted for individuals whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place in a business-led setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process through hands-on training and the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Interns participate in three internships to explore a variety of career paths. The interns work throughout the year with a team that includes their family, an instructor and local and state agencies to create an employment goal. The outcome of this one year program is competitive, integrated employment.

Project SEARCH: Facts from 1996 to Today

  • Project SEARCH, the Solution to High Turnover - The idea of Project SEARCH came about in 1996 as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center looked for a strategy to solve the problem of high turnover in entry-level positions. Through their Diversity Initiative and partnerships with Hamilton County Public Schools (Cincinnati, Ohio) and community agencies, they began program development to train individuals with significant cognitive disabilities to be able to work in these high demand entry-level jobs.
  • Project SEARCH Program Sites - The first Project SEARCH cohort of interns began at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1998 and has now grown over the years to an internationally recognized transition program with over 630 sites in 48 United States and 10 different countries. In Florida, we currently have 41 sites throughout 25 counties. At this time, we lead the nation as the state with the most sites (August 2019).
  • Describing Project SEARCH - In Florida, Project SEARCH is a transition-age youth program for students who have met the requirements for their standard diploma, have deferred receipt of their diploma to participate in the transition program and are typically in the last year of eligibility for free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The target age for students in the program is 18-21 years of age, but prefer students nearing the end of FAPE who are 20 or 21 years of age.

    The program takes place in a business-led setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process through hands-on training and the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Interns participate in three 10-week internships to explore a variety of career paths. The interns work throughout the year with a team that includes their family, an instructor and local and state agencies to create an employment goal.
  • The Goal of Project SEARCH - The goal of this nine-month program is competitive, integrated employment in complex and rewarding jobs. Project SEARCH prepares students by teaching employability and independent living skills to help young people with significant disabilities to make successful transitions to productive adult life. In addition, the presence of a Project SEARCH program can bring about long-term changes in business culture that have far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about hiring people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful.

How to Get Started

If interested in starting a program, follow the initial steps listed below.

A Typical Day in a Project SEARCH Program

Project SEARCH follows a typical school year calendar. Students will begin the program in August, have a 2-3 week orientation and then progress through three 10-week rotations with a week transition break in between each rotation. The program then wraps up in May like a typical school year.

Although there are site-to-site variations, a typical day for the students usually includes the following:
  • Students spend seven hours on-site each day, Monday through Friday.
  • Students begin their day in the on-site classroom receiving instruction delivered by the teacher using the Project SEARCH curriculum.
  • Students then spend approximately 5 hours out in their rotations with a lunch included.
  • Students end their day back in the classroom for a daily reflection and wrap up.

Contact For Additional Information

For additional information or if interested in starting a site, contact Carly Detlefsen, Statewide Coordinator, at cdetlefsen@usfsp.edu.

Also contact Carly Detlefsen if you would like to arrange a tour to visit a Project SEARCH site near you. A tour can provide your team with a clear idea of the day to day operations at a site. 

Resources

Project SEARCH National Website

Project SEARCH 101 Video

Project SEARCH: Cincinnati Childrens Video

Project SEARCH - Gretchen's Story

WPTV News Clip - Boca West Country Club

Bay News 9 - Polk County

Find a Project SEARCH Site by District

Brevard


Project SEARCH Site:
Holmes Regional Medical Center
Location: Melbourne, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital
Location: Cocoa Beach, FL

Broward


Project SEARCH Site:
Memorial Hospital Miramar
Location: Miramar, FL

Charlotte


Project SEARCH Site:
Bayfront Punta Gorda
Location: Punta Gorda, FL

Clay


Project SEARCH Site:
 Kindred Hospital North Florida
Location: Green Cove Springs, FL

Collier


Project SEARCH Site: 
Naples Community Hospital
Location: Naples, FL

Columbia/Hamilton/Suwannee

Project SEARCH Site: Lake City Medical Center
Location:
 Lake City, FL

Duval

Project SEARCH Site: University of North Florida
Location:
 Jacksonville, FL

Duval/Hope Haven-Private

Project SEARCH Site: UF Health-Jacksonville
Location:
 Jacksonville, FL

Duval/North Florida School for Special Education-Private

Project SEARCH Site: Palm Gardens Retirement
Location:
Jacksonville, FL

Escambia


Project SEARCH Site: 
Hilton Pensacola Beach (new SY 18-19)
Location: Pensacola, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Baptist Hospital
Location: Pensacola, FL

Flagler

Project SEARCH Site: Princeton Village Retirement Community
Location:
Bunnell, FL

Lake Wales Charter School

Project SEARCH Site: Lake Wales Medical Center
Location: 
Lake Wales, FL

Lee


Project SEARCH Site:
 Golisano Children's Hospital
Location: Ft. Myers, FL

Marion

Project SEARCH Site: Hilton Ocala
Location:
 Ocala, FL

Project SEARCH Site: 
Bridgewater Park Assisted Living & Memory Care
Location:
 Ocala, FL

Martin


Project SEARCH Site:
 Martin Health Systems
Location: Stuart, FL

Miami-Dade

Project SEARCH Site: City of Hialeah
Location: 
Hialeah, FL

Project SEARCH Site: City of Miami
Location: 
Miami, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Zoo Miami
Location: 
Miami, FL

Nassau


Project SEARCH Site: 
Baptist Medical Center Nassau
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL


Orange

Project SEARCH Site: Rosen Shingle Creek Resort
Location:
Orlando, FL

Project SEARCH Site:
 Florida Hospital Orlando
Location:
Orlando, FL

Project SEARCH Site:
 Florida Hospital Winter Park Memorial
Location:
 Winter Park, FL

Osceola

Project SEARCH Site: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Location:
 Kissimmee, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Florida Hospital Kissimmee
Location:
 Kissimmee, FL

Palm Beach

Project SEARCH Site: Bethesda Memorial Hospital
Location:
 Boynton Beach, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Boca Raton Resort & Club
Location: 
Boca Raton, FL

Palm Beach/Unicorn Children's Foundation-Private

Project SEARCH Site: Boca West County Club
Location:
 Boca Raton, FL

Pinellas

Project SEARCH Site: John Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Location:
 St. Petersburg, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Princeton Village Retirement Community
Location:
 Largo, FL

Polk

Project SEARCH Site: Lakeland Regional Health
Location:
 Lakeland, FL

Santa Rosa

Project SEARCH Site: Gulf Breeze Hospital
Location:
 Gulf Breeze, FL

Seminole

Project SEARCH Site: Hilton Altamonte Springs
Location:
Altamonte Springs, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Florida Hospital Altamonte
Location:
Altamonte Springs, FL

St. John's

Project SEARCH Site: Renaissance World Golf Village
Location:
 St. Augustine, FL

St. Lucie


Project SEARCH Site: Martin Health Systems - Tradition
Location:
 Port St. Lucie, FL

Volusia

Project SEARCH Site: Halifax Health Medical Center-Daytona
Location:
 Daytona, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Halifax Health Medical Center- Port Orange
Location:
 Port Orange, FL

Project SEARCH Site: Stetson University
Location:
DeLand, FL