Piedmont Fayette Hospital announced the launch of Project SEARCH, a new internship program in partnership with Fayette County Schools. Project SEARCH’s primary focus is to secure competitive employment for high functioning individuals with learning differences. Piedmont Fayette will be one of 500 programs across 45 states and nine countries.
Above, the inaugural class of Project SEARCH students at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. Photo/Submitted.
The Project SEARCH program is a nine-month internship program, divided into three-month rotations in three different areas, allowing the students to explore different career paths. Students in the program will acquire transferable job skills, while also learning how to fill out applications, compile a resume and interview for positions. The students will rotate between Rehab, Dietary, Nutrition, Patient Access and Medical/Surgical floors.
“We have a long partnership with Fayette County Schools and we are thrilled when we can introduce students to our culture and the possibility of a career in healthcare.” said Piedmont Fayette CEO Michael Burnett.
Throughout the school year, healthcare students from the Center of Innovation come to Piedmont Fayette for rotations on different nursing units. Many students earn certifications to become phlebotomists, nursing assistants or clinical medical assistants and can enter the workforce in those positions after high school graduation. The hospital has also had several work study students complete internships in different departments.
“Piedmont Fayette has been an extraordinary business partner to Fayette County Schools and they support our mission to build a world-class school system for all of the young people in our community,” said Dr. Jody Barrow, superintendent of Fayette County Schools. “Project SEARCH is a wonderful thing and we are excited for the students in this program to show what they can do.”
Piedmont Fayette has an onsite classroom for the students in the Project SEARCH program, their instructor and a parapro. After classroom time at the beginning of each day, the students participate in their internships in departments throughout the hospital. Leaders and staff members in each of these departments will serve as mentors for the students in the program. Each day closes with time in the classroom to go over their experiences from that day.
“We are excited to have this group join the Piedmont Fayette team and can’t wait to see how much they learn and grow during their time here,” said Burnett. “It is our hope that this experience will benefit them in the workforce now, and well into the future.”