Project SEARCH connects young adults and adults with special needs with work opportunities to help provide employment training and prepare them for competitive employment and a successful adult life.

People Cared For

  • Adolescents
  • Young Adults

Level of Care

  • Community Based

Payment Type

  • Free

We are proud to partner with Anne Arundel County Public School System (AACPS), The Arc (Central Chesapeake Region and Baltimore), DORS, and Service Coordination, Inc. to offer work internships for young adults at Anne Arundel Medical Center and The BWI Hilton Hotel, and for adults at Northwest Hospital. Through Project SEARCH, a business-led transition program, people with special needs experience complete workplace immersion. The program combines classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant training during a 30-week, non-paid internship.

Known as ‘interns’ during their work experiences, our young adults and adults are equipped with the skills needed to make a successful transition from school to productive adult life. While enrolled in one of the Project SEARCH work sites, interns have the opportunity to experience various jobs based on their interests and strengths. The goal for each intern is employment, with individual job placement towards the completion of the program being the ultimate goal.

The Project SEARCH team consists of a special educator, vocational program assistant, job coach, and the staff of the host business. The selection committee makes every effort to place interns at their preferred business site; however, if the site is at full capacity, the intern may be offered alternative placement. Transportation is provided to and from the job site for each intern.

At Project SEARCH, we know that the right employment fit means a greater sense of purpose for our interns, and greater peace of mind for their families. That’s why our team works together to do all we can to ensure a positive experience for your loved one that will allow them to grow and be an active member of their community.

The History of Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH was developed in 1996 by Nurse J. Erin Riehle, then the director of the Emergency Room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She was in need of a reliable worker to stock supplies. She worked with Jennifer Linnabary, a job developer with the Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and Susie Rutkowski, Great Oaks Career tech manager of disability education. They selected Annie Sublett, who has down syndrome, to work in the emergency department. Annie obtained full time employment at Children's Hospital’s 15-room Dental Clinic, where she sterilized/sorted instruments successfully. Since then, the program has grown nationwide. Project SEARCH administrators have helped replicate the program in cities such as Seattle, Vancouver (WA), Atlanta, Washington D.C., Nashville, and Baltimore, as well as many other locations across the country and internationally.

To learn more, visit the national Project SEARCH website.