Project SEARCH helps students with disabilities

A new school-to-work program is being developed in the Marquette Area Public Schools called Project SEARCH High School Transition Program.

The program is developed to allow students with a wide range in disabilities to have access to employment after high school.

Project SEARCH is a one year program for eight to twelve students that is considered a fifth year of high school for students in the Special Education Department.

They have classroom time that teaches them about finding a job and workplace etiquette.  Then, they have three, ten-week internship programs with businesses in the community.

“It’s just really a program that takes them beyond trying to get through physics and Algebra II, but to actually learn some of the employment skills so they can not only get jobs and be productive members of our community, but have that sense of giving and independence that they deserve,” Vivian Dermyer said, who a psychologist with MAPS.

Project SEARCH is a whole community effort, with help from the school district and businesses to help make the program functional.

“It’s is a community partnership, and that’s what community is all about,” Dermyer said.  “It’s not just school and then work, this is a partnership that is going to benefit everyone for life long.”

If you would like your business to be a part of Project SEARCH, contact the MAPS Special Education Department at (906) 225–4321.

MAPS is planning on having the program start in the fall of 2014.  Project SEARCH is a world-wide program that was created in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Five districts in Michigan currently use the program.