Springfield College will once again collaborate with New England Business Associates and introduce a cohort of interns participating in the community’s Project SEARCH program. Since 2018, Springfield College has been the first college or university in Western Massachusetts to lead a Project SEARCH program on the campus.
The Project SEARCH cohort members at Springfield College gain valuable work experience through month-long internship rotations with a variety of departments and offices within the campus community that has included: the post office, technology services, business office, communications, archives, athletic equipment room, facilities, and more.
“We are excited to welcome another cohort and watch the strong impact they will have on our campus community,” said Springfield College Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement Calvin Hill. “They will be part of a community that is inclusive and welcoming as they develop their skill sets for future employment opportunities, and they will also be able to grow as individuals as well."
The Project SEARCH mission is to support young adults with disabilities to transition from school to work through a community agency partnership while gaining employability skills. The program is dedicated to workforce development that benefits the individual, community, and workplace.
The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovation adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continues feedback from teachers, job coaches, and employers.
“This Project SEARCH program continues to provide the tools right away to participants as they try and find out what their dreams and aspirations are moving forward in searching for future career opportunities,” said Ruth Poirier, division supervisor and Project SEARCH program coordinator for New England Business Associates. “We are so proud of our participants as we watch them grow so much during their time at the College.”
New England Business Associates has partnered with the Department of Developmental Services during the last 35 years to help make sure programs like Project SEARCH are available for our youth.
Project SEARCH has more than 400 program sites in 40-plus states in the United States, as well as programs in Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The New England Business Associates’ mission is to enable individuals, who may face barriers, to be fully included in community life through employment, and to become economically empowered in a way that incorporates and creates best practices, creates valued typical societal roles, and offers individualized opportunities.
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.