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Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized employer-driven model that was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) in 1996. The Project SEARCH High School Transition model is for students with developmental cognitive disabilities in their last year of high school eligibility. Mayo Clinic Project SEARCH started in September 2015 in Rochester and is a partnership between the Rochester Public Schools, Mayo Clinic, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Olmsted County Disability Services with supports from the Project SEARCH State Leadership Team.

Six to ten students in their final year of educational programming at the District will participate in a one-year academic program. Students will experience three 10-week unpaid internships. The hours of the program are approximately 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM. Interns will gain employability and specific work skills, and receive assistance with customized job searches. The outcome of Project SEARCH is competitive, integrated employment for each student intern.

Basic Eligibility Requirements:
  • 18 – 21 years old
  • Developmental Cognitive Disabilities 
  • Appropriate hygiene, social, and communication skills for the business
  • Ability to take direction and change behavior 
  • Independently utilize public transportation
  • Pass background checks, immunization check  
  • Accept diploma at end of year and obtain employment
Internships:
  • Systematic instruction 
  • Learn competitive, marketable employment skills
  • 5 hours each day 
  • Develop specific work and employability skills
  • Three internships in a variety of settings 
  • Focus on productivity and quality 
  • Continual feedback & assessment from instructor, skills trainers, and Mayo Clinic staff

Contact us:

For additional information or questions on how to get involved, contact:

Nancy Joyce
Project SEARCH Instructor 
(507) 266-2339 | Email

Dawn Kirchner
Business Liaison, Host Business-Mayo Clinic
(507) 284-5048| Email