UnityPoint Health - Des Moines has partnered with Candeo of Des Moines to provide training and employment opportunities for post-high school students with disabilities through a program called Project SEARCH.
Project SEARCH began in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1996 at Children's Hospital Medical Center. It has since been replicated in over 140 programs across the United States - in 42 different states - and in two other countries. Project SEARCH utilizes a combination of classroom instruction coupled with workplace internships to prepare individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities for competitive employment. The program at UnityPoint Health is the first of its kind in Iowa.
Project SEARCH has been very successful the in assisting people with disabilities to acquire the skills necessary to become employed. Nearly 80% of Project SEARCH participants who complete the program are employed after graduation. A hospital is an ideal location for Project SEARCH because health care is a growing industry and provides a wide variety of jobs for individuals to explore. The goal of Project SEARCH is to simulate a true work environment as much as possible. The immersion into the workplace through internships provides a training atmosphere that no classroom can replicate. Project SEARCH participants serve in a variety of roles at UnityPoint Health, including:
- Environmental Services
- Patient Transport
- Patient Access
- Patient Communication
- Central Supply
- Food Service
For additional information about Project SEARCH, please visit the Candeo website.