Project SEARCH Transition to Work Program Celebrates Six Graduates

Tara Myers introduces Secretary Mandy Cohen during the commencement ceremony.

Tara Myers, left, introduces Secretary Mandy Cohen during the commencement ceremony.

May 30, 2018 – Six Project SEARCH Transition to Work Program participants were honored May 16 at a celebration held at Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Campus, completing a process that began in October 2017 with a focus on learning work and life skills that can be used to pursue employment. 

The school-to work transition program for young adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, combines classroom instruction, career exploration and relevant job-skills training through internships.

The six individuals, who are the second class of graduates, worked with NC Department of Health and Human Services staff in divisions and offices across the Dix Campus, including Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Social Services’ Child Support, Child Development and Early Education, Medical Assistance, Human Resources, the Office of the Controller, and the Print Shop.

“This is an opportunity people have been taking advantage of all over the world,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, in her commencement address. “We’re here to celebrate that. I hope our graduates continue to find success and joy in their mission.”

Project SEARCH is made possible through a collaboration between the Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Community Workforce Solutions, Alliance Behavioral Health and Wake Technical Community College. 

“Our graduates have worked hard, proven they can overcome many barriers and obstacles, and achieved goals,” said Tara Myers, Director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. “And that’s what’s most important.”

The DHHS Project SEARCH graduates were: Jayairies Arrington, Ahmed Exum, Ashley Roberts, Kathryn Sims, Terrence Walker and Meghan Wentworth.

The next Project SEARCH class is scheduled to begin in October.

Ryan Hill