Lynchburg City Schools had a special presentation during the Tuesday, June 21 school board meeting to introduce a new program called Project SEARCH.
Mr. E. W. Tibbs, President and CEO of Centra, as well as area community, school and special education leaders, joined Lynchburg City Schools and Campbell County Schools during this presentation.
Project SEARCH is an internationally renowned vocational program for students with disabilities in their final year of public school services. This unique vocational program immerses students into internships at a host business.
The Centra Health - Lynchburg General Project SEARCH program is a collaborative program between Centra Health, Lynchburg City Schools and Campbell County Schools, The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Stand Up, Inc and The Virginia Department for Education.
The program, which is funded by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, began in Virginia during the 2009-2010 academic year. Since then, more than 600 students have participated in Project SEARCH, a national career program for high school students with disabilities that provides hands-on training during their senior year.
Each school year throughout the Commonwealth, Project SEARCH students obtain invaluable experience through internships in a health care or business environment, with the goal of having a job by the end of the year. Some students are offered jobs before they finish the program. This year nearly 40 students have already begun employment.
Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel said “The hands-on training and skills that Project SEARCH teaches high school seniors have helped several hundred participants find jobs and greater independence since Virginia joined the program. It’s a wonderful way to help individuals with disabilities find meaningful work, and I’m happy to see the program continue to strengthen and grow in Virginia.”