What is Project SEARCH?

Overview:
Project SEARCH provides a comprehensive approach to employment training and career advancement for individuals between the ages of 18-34 years of age with developmental disabilities. The program provides real world skills training through a series of internships, and classroom learning, all designed to teach marketable skills that will transfer to a variety of employment settings.

In the Monadnock region, the program takes place at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock (CMC/DH). CMC/DH offers a wide variety of opportunities for employment training, from stocking to housekeeping to food service to office tasks. The program runs on an academic calendar: Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Interested candidates must apply to and be accepted into the program.

Those interested in Project SEARCH need to meet the following minimal requirements:

Eligibility:
The minimum requirements for Project SEARCH applicants:
• Are receiving services from MDS, have Medicaid and are, or can be, open for the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver.
• Have current application for, or are receiving active services with New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NHVR).
• Can pass the required comprehensive background check.
• Are able to work with some degree of independence.
• Have a reliable method of communication.
• Have a desire to gain employment skills and are committed to finding employment at the end of the program.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates work in a variety of jobs. Some work in an office environment, others in retail, manufacturing, environmental services, food service, and recreation. On average, graduates of Project SEARCH earn an hourly wage of $10.41 and work 16.5 hours per week.

To find out more about Project SEARCH, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 603-352-1304.

2022 Information Sessions:

January 12, 2022 at 3 or 5 p.m.
January 20, 2022 at 4 p.m.
February 8, 2022 at 11 a.m. or 5 p.m.

All sessions will be held by video conference. Register by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 603-352-1304.

How to Apply:

Applications for the next session (September 2022 - June 2023) will be posted online soon.

     Coming soon: 2022-2023 Project SEARCH Application form.

     Coming soon: 2022-23 Project SEARCH References form.

     Click here for an FAQ about Project SEARCH.

     Click here for an overview of Project SEARCH.

Completed applications forms can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Want to speak to someone about Project SEARCH?

Schedule a time to speak with Project SEARCH staff about the program.
      Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      Or call MDS at 603-352-1304.

Background on Project SEARCH:

Project SEARCH (Students Exploring Alternative Resources Children's Hospital) originated at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati in 1996. Click here for an informative video on the Project SEARCH program. The hospital wanted to diversify its workforce and create an opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to obtain marketable employment skills. Since then, Project SEARCH has grown to more than 200 sites across the U.S. and in four other countries. There are six Project SEARCH sites in New Hampshire.

In the Monadnock Region Project SEARCH partners are Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock, Monadnock Developmental Services, and NH Vocational Rehabilitation.

 

MDS Mission Statement
Because we believe…

  • everyone, from children to the elderly, has the right to experience a safe, supportive family life, in all its many facets;

  • respecting each person’s and each family’s values is the foundation for building and strengthening people’s lives;

  • power, authority and responsibility lie with each person for how they will live their life.

The mission of MDS is…
to work toward inclusion, participation and mutual relationships for all people who are at risk of isolation from community. We will promote self-determination and quality of life, develop an environment which encourages creativity, innovation and individuality, and ensure quality of supports.