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Success Story: Project SEARCH

  • Photo of a young woman participating in Project SEARCH
  • Project SEARCH logo
  • Photo of a Project SEARCH mentor and student

Organization: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Grants: $516,002
Years: 2003 - 2008, 2013-2014, 2016-2018

MEAF provided $180,000 in grant funding over six years to help Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center develop a business plan to  replicate their effective Project SEARCH high school training and employment program. Project SEARCH provides employment training to students with severe cognitive disabilities and places them in competitive jobs achieving a remarkable 70% placement and retention rate.

In 2013, MEAF provided additional funding to help identify best practices that Project SEARCH affiliate sites have developed to achieve a 100% employment placement rate.

In 2015, MEAF provided an additional $248,500 in funding to help bring Project SEARCH to teh six remaining states that do not currently have a Project SEARCH program.

Project Results

Cover of Journal of Vocational RehabilitationThe program has expanded to over 400 locations in the U.S. and abroad, including Fifth-Third Bank, Medtronic, Cargill, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Smithsonian Museums.

A new 100% Employment Training Curriculum, developed with MEAF funds, was delivered to 70 Project SEARCH sites so that they might improve their employment placement rates.

Project SEARCH has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Labor Freedom Award, and was featured in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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