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Project SEARCH graduates of 2017

Project SEARCH

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For more information about Project SEARCH, email us at

Project SEARCH is a unique, business-led transition program designed to provide education and job training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Along with job skills, the Project SEARCH Program gives students with disabilities self-confidence, opportunities and hope for a future they can thrive in, according to Sam Napier, Instructor for the Project SEARCH Program.

Project Search Monica CopeltonStudent interns complete rounds of internships at various departments of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Intern Monica Copelton spent the first 10 weeks assisting in sterile processing. Her manager, Audrey Oglesby, described how Monica had become a competent member of their team and was such a joy to everyone. Oglesby, who has a granddaughter with special needs, finds personal hope seeing the benefits of Project SEARCH.

You've got this little tunnel and there’s a little bitty light at the end. Now, all of a sudden, that tunnel’s become a gigantic hallway with a lot more light.

Sam Napier

Project Search Kayla ChambersKayla Chambers first interned in the emergency center. She made sure there was always a supply of beds made and ready for new patients.  She passed out pillows and blankets, and offered visitors something to drink. Kayla’s wonderful smile and pleasant personality were a comfort to those in need.

Program Mission & Vision

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg School District 6 (Dorman High School), the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department and the Upstate Workforce Investment Board. Students attend the program for a full school year on Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s main campus. They receive classroom instruction, including training in employability and independent living skills, and master core job skills through three 9- to 10-week internship rotations during the year. As a result of completing the program, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs in the host company and community.

For information on how to be involved or to contribute to the Project SEARCH Program, contact us at 864-560-6278.

The Origin of Project Search

Project SEARCH is an international program first developed in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to provide employment and education opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. There are currently over 300 programs across 46 states in the U.S. and five other countries.

Through collaboration between Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s-based Project SEARCH, Spartanburg School District 6 (Dorman High School), the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department and the Upstate Workforce Investment Board, the program became the first Project SEARCH established in South Carolina.

Program Objectives

The High School Transition Program prepares interns for employment in the community. During this program students will:

  • Receive classroom instruction on employability and independent living skills
  • Participate in internship rotations
  • Work with a job coach and host mentor to learn how to perform internship tasks independently
  • Engage in job development activities
  • Upon the completion of the program, have the skills needed to obtain a community job that aligns with their vocational goals

Medical Center Internships

  • Ida Thompson Child Development Program
  • Central Patient Transport
  • Dining Services
  • Emergency Center
  • Endoscopy Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Guest Services
  • Linen Services
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory Services
  • Sterile Processing

*Courtesy of WSPA

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