Young Adults Complete Project SEARCH Internships

Project SEARCH interns and their advisors. From left to right - Back row : Sam Crosby-Hogg (intern), Chris Brochard (intern),Meghann McLaughlin (intern), Amit Sharma (intern),Maria Einaudi (Project SEARCH Teacher) Nathan Norling (intern), Travis Collins (Job Coach); Middle Row: Michael Morales (intern), Jessica Moreida (intern), Charlotte Hallam (intern), Madison Schleder (intern), Christen Dinh (intern), Katie Eskridge (Project SEARCH Coordinator). Front row: Tina Lee (Job Coach), Ross MacDonald (Job Coach).

Ten young adults with developmental disabilities are being honored this week at a graduation ceremony for completing yearlong internships with Alameda County as part of a special collaboration that provides on-the-job experience for individuals with special needs.
 The graduates are the second group to complete their internships with the county as part of its Project SEARCH Program, which allows interns to develop their job skills by becoming fully immersed in a large workplace and opens the door to possibilities for gainful employment.  The program is a partnership between Alameda County, East Bay Innovations and the Oakland Unified School District.
 Seven of the 10 members of the first graduating class of Alameda County’s Project SEARCH program transitioned into permanent jobs after completing the program in January 2011.  Already, one of the latest graduates has secured a full-time job and several others are pursuing some promising leads.
 Friday’s graduation includes presentations of diplomas and talks by local officials involved in the internship project.  Some of the young graduates will also be available for interviews following what is sure to be an uplifting event.
 Project SEARCH began in 1996 at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital and has since become a national program championing work opportunities for individuals with disabilities.   The Alameda County program was launched in October 2009 as the first public sector Project SEARCH program in California.  Later this year, the program will be receiving an award from International Project SEARCH for its 70 percent job placement rate for 2011.
 Six Alameda County departments participated in Project SEARCH: the Assessor, Auditor-Controller/Clerk-Recorder, County Administrator’s Office, Human Resource Services, Public Defender and Sheriff.
To provide the interns with a range of experience, the program called for each of the interns to complete assignments with three different county departments during their yearlong stints.  
To learn more about the program go to

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