Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is a transition program for young adults in their last year of high school. It is an internship program designed to transition young adults with disabilities from the high school setting into employment within the workplace.

Project SEARCH began in 1996 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Concerned with a high turnover rate, Erin Riehle, the Director of the Emergency Department, wondered if people with disabilities could fill the entry level jobs she had. Cincinnati Children's, along with Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, turned the idea of filling a handful of jobs into a comprehensive program model - Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH has grown from one original program to over 651 in 48 states and 10 countries.

The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help young adults with disabilities make successful transitions from school to productive adult life.


Project SEARCH Intern's Goal: Be competitively employed at the end of the Project SEARCH program in their home community.

Project SEARCH at York General has internship sites across their campus at:

  • York General Hospital
  • York General Hearthstone
  • York General Willow Brook
  • West View Medical Building

Project SEARCH Internship Sites: Hospital experiences include but are not limited to:

  • Lab
  • Laundry
  • Child Care
  • Dietary Aide
  • Business Office
  • Plants Operation
  • Patient Transport
  • Activities Assistant
  • Dialysis Ward Clerk
  • Greeter / Receptionist
  • Wellness Center Aide
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Environmental Services
  • Materials Management

Project SEARCH begins in August and runs through early May:

  • 2 1/2 week Orientation - August
  • 10 week Internship - September through November
  • Transition Activities - November
  • 10 week Internship - Late November through February
  • Transition Activities - February
  • 10 week Internship - Late February through Early May

Project SEARCH Interns do the following for each internship:

  • Apply for the internship
  • Interview for the internship
  • 3 weeks prior to the end of the internship, apply and interview for next internship
  • 2 weeks prior to the end of the internship, resigns from current internship
Nichole Wetjen

Nichole Wetjen
Project SEARCH Coordinator

Project SEARCH Students & Staff

Project SEARCH Interns & Staff