Project SEARCH is up and running!

Project SEARCH is a dedicated program focused on providing education and training to young adults with intellectual disabilities. This is accomplished through an innovative career development model that benefits the person supported, workplace and community

Project SEARCH is a unique program for students with intellectual disabilities between the ages of 18-21 who have met all graduation requirements and are interested in competitive employment. This project is being offered through a partnership between Springjfield Public School District 186, Memorial Health System and Sparc.

The Training Model is a nine-month internship program for people with disabilities. It is targeted for persons supported, whose goal is competitive employment. The program takes place at Memorial Health Systems where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Interns participate in 3 internships to explore a variety of career paths. The interns work with a team that includes their family, an instructor, as well as local and state agencies to create an employment goal.

The skills practiced in the internships include:

  • Organizational skills, working as a team, time management, computer skills, being efficient and flexible, appropriate workplace social skills, following a task list, and customer service skills.

The program is modeled after the Project SEARCH program that began in 1996 at Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center. Project SEARCH now operates at 617 sites in 48 states and 10 other countries.

More information about the program is available by contacting District 186 administrator, Amelia Zibutis at 217-525-3363 or

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