Celebrating Project SEARCH Graduates Class of 2017
(September 6, 2017) PathPoint celebrated the graduation of 41 interns from its Project SEARCH work-immersion programs in Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Camarillo, and Oxnard. Partnering with Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and UCLA Health, the one-year program combines daily work experience at local hospitals and PathPoint classroom instruction on skills such as interviewing and first aid.
Adults with disabilities often have difficulty securing steady employment, with 84% unemployed due to their disabilities. To help prepare young adults with developmental disabilities for competitive employment, PathPoint oversees the Project SEARCH workplace training program in Central and Southern California.
Project SEARCH interns worked 5-days a week at Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest (Bakersfield), St. John's Regional Medical Center (Oxnard), St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital (Camarillo), Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center and West Los Angeles Medical Center, and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles). Each hospital provided rotations among departments including: administration, food services, and environmental services.
Participants were honored by their family, friends, and work mentors at recent graduation ceremonies. Hospital staff recounted anecdotes about the graduates’ willingness to learn and their dedication to the program. Some sites had attendance rates as high as 97% and one participant achieved 100% perfect attendance for the entire year. Guest speakers encouraged the graduates to apply their new skills and confidence towards future jobs and challenges.