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Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is a national one-year, high school transition program for students with disabilities between the ages of 18-21 that provides training and education with the goal of obtaining competitive employment.  The program was developed at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 1994. 

Project SEARCH was launched locally at the City of Rochester in September 2010 in collaboration with the Strong Center for Development, the Arc of Monroe County, the Rochester City School District, and the City of Rochester.   Key aspects include: 

  • Students attend class on-site at the host business to learn employability skills.
  • Students participate in three 10-week internships focusing on acquiring discreet job skills.
  • Students are supported by a classroom teacher, a paraprofessional, and a job coach.  This staffing is fully funded by the host school district (Rochester City School District) and partner vocational rehabilitation agency (Arc of Monroe County)
  • There is no cost to the host for businesses to participate in Project SEARCH other than the supply of on-site resources (e.g. classroom, access to phone and copier).

Project SEARCH News

Thanks to the generosity of a donor from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, each intern will receive stipends throughout their Project SEARCH year. After the first internship rotation, the interns will receive a $200 check, after their second rotation they will receive a $250 check and at graduation, they will receive a $300 check. This generous donation is greatly appreciated by all the interns!


People with disabilities have the right to choose a path towards education and employment.  However, while freedom of choice is given, the right to work is earned.  Earning the right to work is dependent upon the student’s preparation.

Program Goals 

  • Provide employability skills training for students with significant disabilities through on-site immersion in a business.
  • Provide support for businesses to encourage the hiring of individuals with disabilities. 

City as the Project SEARCH Business Partner

The City is responsible for providing:

  • A minimum of 12 internship assignments
  • Classroom and workspace for students and staff
  • Orientation of Project SEARCH staff to City Hall, and City staff to the project
  • Participation in ongoing program evaluation

Project SEARCH Working Committee 

Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities              Arc of Monroe
Marilee Boylan Kyle Scribner
 Charis Happ
 Kayt Davidson
Rochester City School District                                                                       City of Rochester
Megan AdantiRose Nichols
Vanessa Peterson 

For more information, please contact Dan T. Butler, Chief of Diversity Equity & Inclusion at (585) 428-6821 or

You may also contact Megan Adanti for enrollment into Project Search

Megan Adanti, Rochester City School District