The Delaware Department of Transportation announced a new partnership with Project SEARCH, high school transition program.

Project SEARCH is for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The department will employ 10 interns for its first Project SEARCH program year. The interns will transition into different positions throughout the department every 12 weeks. The intent of the rotation is so that the students can experience various job duties throughout DelDOT. Participating students will attend the program for a full school year. The goal for each student participating in the program is competitive employment.

The program is made possible with the partnership amongst DelDOT, Autism Delaware, Community Integrated Services, Caesar Rodney School District, the Department of Labor and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

The goal for each student participant is competitive employment. The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help youths with disabilities make successful transitions from school to productive adult life. The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers and employers.

As a result, at the completion of the training program, students with intellectual disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs. The presence of a Project SEARCH High School Transition Program can bring about long-term changes in business culture that have far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about hiring people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful.

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