Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is a collaboration between the St. Lucie Public Schools,  employU, and the Cleveland Clinic where students gain experience working within the Cleveland Clinic hospital. This program serves high school students with disabilities who are on an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility.

The Project SEARCH Transition to Work program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Focused on positions within the medical field, total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development.

Competitive employment is the goal for each participant in the program. Real-life work experience, independent-living skills, and employability training provided by the Project SEARCH program assists participants in reaching this goal. By providing continuous feedback from skills trainers, employers, and teachers along with career exploration, innovative adaptations, skills training, and long-term job coaching, Project SEARCH helps young people with disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life.


Project SEARCH serves high school students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Each year, 12 students have the opportunity to participate in this year-long program. Typically, participants are high school students who are on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and in their last year of high school.

To participate in the Project SEARCH Transition to Work Program students must:

  • Be an 18-year-old high school student with an intellectual and/or developmental disability and have an Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • Have enough credits to graduate and be willing to defer graduation
  • Have good attendance throughout the duration of the program, without significant behavior challenges.
  • Apply for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services in order to participate. (Contact us for assistance applying for VR services or click here for the application.)

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employU is an approved vendor with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and we are happy to serve VR’s customers.
employU is a CARF accredited organization
employU is a Veteran Safe Place