Organization: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Years: 2003 - 2008, 2013-2014, 2016-2018
MEAF provided $180,000 in grant funding over six years to help Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center develop a business plan to replicate their effective Project SEARCH high school training and employment program. Project SEARCH provides employment training to students with severe cognitive disabilities and places them in competitive jobs achieving a remarkable 70% placement and retention rate.
In 2013, MEAF provided additional funding to help identify best practices that Project SEARCH affiliate sites have developed to achieve a 100% employment placement rate.
In 2015, MEAF provided an additional $248,500 in funding to help bring Project SEARCH to teh six remaining states that do not currently have a Project SEARCH program.
The program has expanded to over 400 locations in the U.S. and abroad, including Fifth-Third Bank, Medtronic, Cargill, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Smithsonian Museums.
A new 100% Employment Training Curriculum, developed with MEAF funds, was delivered to 70 Project SEARCH sites so that they might improve their employment placement rates.
Project SEARCH has received numerous awards, including the U.S. Department of Labor Freedom Award, and was featured in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.