Project SEARCH is a one school-year transition program designed for students with most significant disabilities. It includes a variety of work experiences provided within a host business and is a program where the main goal is integrated competitive employment.

There are currently 20 Project SEARCH programs in VA.

Key Partners Host Business provides an on-site classroom and a variety of internships that teach core skills related to that business or organization.

School District provides an instructor, employability skills curriculum and student interns from their affiliated schools.

Vocational Rehabilitation provides individual career guidance, job coaching and other supports for each student to gain competitive employment. Supported Employment Agency provides job coaching and job development for student interns at the host business and in their initial job.

Key Concepts Collaboration with a Host Business, Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Employment Service Organizations Braided funding Immersion and impact Training in real work settings Low risk, low cost for business Hiring students who are “good fit” Outcomes for Students in Project SEARCH in Virginia Over 1100 students have participated in Project SEARCH since its inception in 2008 The Median wages for Project SEARCH graduates in 2018 is $11.00 per hour and work an average of 27 hours per week. DARS has an 82% rehabilitation rate for PS students.

This web address will take you to an in depth video on Project SEARCH http://youtu.be/rsHi_-4iylk For more information contact Donna Bonessi, Deputy Director Martin Kurylowski Donna.Bonessi@dars.virginia.gov or Martin.Kurylowski@dars.virginia.gov (804) 662-7177 (703) 277-3529

  • Email: Donna.Bonessi@dars.virginia.gov
  • Phone: (804) 662-7177
  • Web site: https://www.projectsearch.us/