Skip to Content

Project SEARCH

What is Project SEARCH?

Project SEARCH is a one year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at UPMC Jameson. The program includes classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training while immersing students in the workplace.

Project SEARCH graduates gain marketable and transferable skills that are essential to employment. Supports are provided to assist these students with finding competitive and integrated employment post-graduation.

Project SEARCH, an internationally recognized program with an 75.2% employment rate, was implemented at UPMC Jameson in 2017. Since then, 89% of program graduates were placed in competitive employment.

Work Experience

Project SEARCH students gain experience in a variety of settings at UPMC Jameson:

  • Emergency Department
  • Patient Transport
  • Environmental Services
  • Nutritional Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Patient Relations
  • Materials Management
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medical Imaging
  • Patient Access

Program Goals

Project SEARCH prepares student for employment in the community. During this program, students will:

  • Receive classroom instruction from a PA-certified teacher on employability and independent living skills.
  • Participate in three internship rotations in various departments.
  • Work with skills trainers and department mentors to learn how to perform job tasks independently.
  • Develop resumes, portfolios, and references.
  • Engage in job seeking activities.
  • Complete the program with the skills needed to obtain integrated, competitive employment that align with their vocational goals.
  • Receive assistance from skills trainers to help gain and maintain employment.

Application Process and Criteria

The Project SEARCH application process takes place each spring. Student applicants must meet the following requirements for consideration:

  • Willingness to participate in internships.
  • Ability to participate in a full day’s schedule (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
  • Age 18 to 21 years old.
  • Eligible for services from Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • State ID and FBI, Act 33, and Act 34 clearances.
  • Agreement that this is their last year of school and they are willing to defer their diploma.
  • Maintain appropriate hygiene, behavioral and social skills.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • Passing of drug screening and background checks.
  • Up-to-date immunizations.
  • Willingness to take direction from a supervisor and modify behavior.
  • Willingness to learn independently and manage transportation options.
  • Desire and plan to work in the community after Project SEARCH graduation.

Our Partners

Project SEARCH is a collaboration among UPMC Jameson, Cray Youth & Family Services, the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vocational & Psychological Services, and Lawrence County Mental Health Developmental Services.

Contact Us

For more information about Project Search at UPMC Jameson, call 724-656-4637 or send an email to