By Karl Schneider
LCCC has opened its doors to a program call Project SEARCH, which arranges internships for youths with disabilities who are seeking employment. United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cleveland (UCP) partnered with Avon and Elyria school districts and LCCC to bring the program to Lorain County. The program has funding at the state level with the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.
The Project SEARCH team at LCCC includes instructor Kathy Tyler and Job Coach Gayle Webber from Elyria High School, and Job Coach Kali Neundorfer from UCP.
“As a job coach, I teach the interns the skills for their jobs and help them assimilate into the work place culture,” said Neundorfer. “Our ultimate goal is to see the interns gain employment within the community.”
Seven students from the program work at LCCC. Candidates go through a series of interviews to enter the program, and go through the full hiring process before starting an internship.
Adam Bordy, a 20-year-old intern, is currently working one of his internships at LCCC’s Bass Library.
“Project SEARCH will really benefit my future. Unlike JVS, Project SEARCH has me working at my job the entire day, five days a week,” said Bordy. He plans to enroll at LCCC in the future to study either computer animation or computer design.
Michael Hawley is doing a split internship. He spends his days in either LCCC’s Physical Plant or at Stocker Center. His aspiration is to gain an internship with Duck Radio.
“Project SEARCH is my dream,” said Hawley.
The team hopes to expand the internships to more departments on campus.