International Program Recognizes Jefferson’s Commitment to Provide Internship Opportunities to Young Adults with Disabilities
Jefferson Health in New Jersey has been named the winner of an international Project SEARCH award in the category of Innovative Employment for its internship program for young adults with disabilities. This marked the second year for the Project SEARCH Spotlight on Model Fidelity awards.
A total of three Spotlight Awards are given out each year in three different categories. The Spotlight on Innovative Employment, which Jefferson won, recognizes teams that develop quality jobs and rewarding careers that make use of the skills and experience participants gained in their internships. The Project SEARCH leadership team — which selected the winners — was particularly impressed with the examples of hired Project SEARCH graduates working on the front lines of the COVID-19 response at Jefferson. In addition, Jefferson Health New Jersey was one of 229 Project SEARCH programs to be recognized with a Employment Outcome Award for its high employment rate of Project SEARCH interns.
In 2016, Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital became the first site in southern New Jersey to partner with Project SEARCH — an international work-transition program for young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Project SEARCH at Jefferson Health — working in conjunction with the Cherry Hill-based Y.A.L.E. School — is the only program in New Jersey specializing in autism spectrum disorders, with a focus on aspirational employment.
Project SEARCH interns at Jefferson work in a variety of departments, including Health Information Management, Patient Accounts, Storeroom, Food Service, and Environmental Services. “Our interns are taught rewarding job skills throughout the school year,” said Darlene Anderson, Jefferson Project SEARCH Coordinator. “Our program has consistently prepared and supported graduates in employment that is aspirational and innovative.” Along with classroom instruction through the Y.A.L.E. School, interns use the skills they learn to help them find related positions that match their talents and interests.
Jefferson has hired several interns upon completion of their Project SEARCH internships. Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and has more than 400 host sites worldwide. For more information about Project SEARCH at Jefferson Health, visit www.yaleschoolnj.com/about/project-search.