Finding employability through Project Search

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Teacher Amanda White (left) and school counselor Maggie Gates (right) congratulate London High School student Madison Pollard (center) on her acceptance into the competitive Project Search program.

(Posted March 28, 2018)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

London High School’s Madison Pollard is among a select few students in the region to land a spot in this year’s Project Search program.

Project Search is a one-year, high school transition program that provides training and education leading to employment for individuals with disabilities.

Placement in the program is competitive. Applicants must prepare a resume and complete a job interview before a panel of program and industry professionals. Only 10 applicants are accepted each year.

Pollard was thrilled to be selected for the 2018-19 school year.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for two years,” she said during recognition at the London school board meeting in March.

Project Search participants must have finished all high school requirements and defer graduation until they complete the one-year program.

Pollard’s Project Search experience will start this fall and take place at Dublin Methodist Hospital. She will spend one hour in class each morning, then spend the rest of the day working on the floor with other hospital employees. Her responsibilities will run from prepping routine surgical trays to helping visitors find their way around the hospital.

In addition to learning skills specific to healthcare, Project Search participants gain soft skills–like communication and teamwork–that help to prepare them for independent living and employability. Monthly progress meetings help students to define their career goals and plan steps to achieve those goals.

Maggie Gates, London school counselor, noted that 90 percent of Project Search participants land full-time jobs with Ohio Health after their year is over.

Project Search is a collaborative effort. Tolles Career and Technical Center provides the instructor and equipment. Dublin Methodist Hospital provides the space and experiences. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Franklin County Department of Developmental Disabilities provide the job coaches.

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