Project Search


Transitioning students with disabilities to work
Project SEARCH is a unique business-led transition program for students with disabilities. It provides students who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills. The ultimate goal: independent adults working in a competitive environment.
Designed as an internship program, Project SEARCH places students in real-world situations where they learn all aspects of gaining and maintaining a job. Large organizations—such as banks, hospitals, or universities—host the program. This process of immersion facilitates the teaching and learning of new work skills on-site.
Individualized job development and placement occurs based on the student’s experiences, strengths, and skills. A series of job rotations lasting up to 10 weeks allow students to seek positions that best suit their interests and skills. They receive support with accommodations, adaptations, and on-the-job coaching.
Students who have completed all academic requirements for graduation from high school may apply for enrollment in Project SEARCH. Participants may be 18 to 21 years old.   
East Dakota provides Project SEARCH through a partnership with Avera McKennan and Division of Rehabilitation Services and Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired.


Learn More about the Program: Here


 In Partnership with:

Avera McKennan Hospital (Host Business) - provides a variety of internships that teach core skills of the business and a liaison to coordinate the program. 
East Dakota Educational Cooperative (Education) – provides an instructor and recruits appropriate student participants through either a local education agency and/or a school district.
Division of Rehabilitation Services and Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired (Vocational Rehabilitation) - provides individualized career counseling and guidance for eligible student participants. Vocational planning and support may include job coaching and placement.
South Dakota Achieve  (Community Rehabilitation Partner)– provides assistance to other team members for job coaching, competitive job placement in the community, long term retention, and follow along for eligible individuals who receive a competitive job at the host business or in the community.   
Transition Services Liaison Project (Community Partner) – assists all partners by providing technical assistance and training, promoting Project SEARCH, and recruiting students.

Freedom to Work Project - Medicaid Infastructure Grant (Community Partner) – Provides training and technical assistance to community partners on new and innovative programs that lead to successful employment outcomes for adults and youth in transition.