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Project SEARCH student
This Transition Program is a one-year program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school at The Warren County Career Center. It is targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment (16 hrs. or more/week). The program will be located at 500 Justice Drive in Lebanon Ohio for the 2020-2021 school year. The design of the program is to totally immerse the intern in the workplace and facilitate the teaching and learning process through continuous feedback and application of new skills.

A typical school day includes classroom instruction in employability skills, work on a jobsite, lunch with co-workers, and feedback from the instructor and job skill trainers. The rotations are designed to complement each student’s interests, skills, and strengths. Students intern in 3 jobs during the school year.

Worksite rotations depending on location of Program may include:
  1. Transporting residents to a variety of appointments
  2. Central Supply and stocking in a variety of nursing and housekeeping areas
  3. Laundry
  4. Administration: mailing monthly bills and statements, organizing resident files
  5. Mailroom clerk including delivering mail to residents and reading mail to residents
  6. Housekeeping, Environmental and Infection Control
  7. Culinary-Assisting with and preparing/delivering meals
  8. Grounds and Landscaping
  9. Creative Arts Center
  10. General Maintenance
  11. Human Resources
  12. Copying, Scanning and Data Entry
  13. Recycling

A Special Education instructor and job skill trainers provide initial training, perform job analyses, and act as mentors to the interns. The instructor acts as a liaison with the host business and works with supervisors to develop job rotations. The goal of the program is career exploration and eventual competitive employment in the workforce where they can use their skills and earn a competitive wage with benefits.
Linkages are made to appropriate community services, such as Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities, in order to insure a successful transition to work as well as retention and career advancement.

Project SEARCH is a nationally recognized model of transition from school to work for youth with disabilities. They were awarded the New Freedom Initiative Award from the US Department of Labor. The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council awarded a grant to Project SEARCH. The goal of this grant is to replicate Project SEARCH around the state. Otterbein was one of the first sites to participate in this grant and is currently the only Project Search site in Warren County.

Eligibility Criteria:
• 18 – 21 years old
• In last year of high school (may have participated in deferred graduation)
• Desire to work in the community
• Willing to access independent transportation options
• Has met all academic requirements for graduation
• Has basic communication skills
• Has appropriate social, grooming, and hygiene skills
• Able to take care of all personal needs
• Can pass drug screen and felony check
• Has updated immunizations
• Has achieved 2nd or 3rd grade reading and math levels 
Referral, Selection and Enrollment Process:
• Candidate and family attend Open House
• Candidate, family and school district representative tour Otterbein and meet with the Project Search Team
• Candidate completes application
• Application is reviewed by the selection committee
• If necessary, candidate participates in a vocational assessment
• Candidate enrolls with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)
• Candidate enrolls with Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities(if applicable)
• Upon acceptance the candidate will complete necessary background checks and TB testing on site at Warren County Career Center, the Warren County Government Campus and Otterbein Senior Life

Contact Instructor Nick Vrettos at 937-825-2109, or [email protected].




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