XENIA — Ten students graduated from a post-high school transitional education/work placement program for individuals with intellectual disabilities Thursday at Soin Medical Center. Through Project SEARCH, the 10 students received workforce training during the last school year, which prepared them for their job placement following graduation.
“It was … a complete metamorphosis of individuals coming in as teenagers, as high school kids, and they’re really coming out professional, able to work with all types of adults, trained, skilled and ready to be in society,” said Project SEARCH coordinator Elisabeth Cline. “When they came in they were really green.”
During their time in the program, students learn on the job, as well as off it, covering topics such as team building, technology, interviewing skills, money management and more. Students participate in three internships during the school year to prepare for the workforce.
“We train the whole person, not just ‘Can they do a task or not?’ ” Cline said. “It’s eye contact, greeting, it’s the whole package.”
The goal of the program is to provide job skills training such that each student can find competitive employment. All 10 students in this year’s program graduated knowing their place of employment.
Project SEARCH is a partnership of the Greene County Career Center, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, the Greene County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Soin Medical Center.