Project SEARCH interns prepare for graduation Thursday


HERKIMER — The graduation ceremony for Project SEARCH, a collaboration between Arc Herkimer and Herkimer College, will take place on Thursday, May 12, at 5 p.m. in the Herkimer College Amphitheater.

This year, the cooperative is excited to celebrate the accomplishments of three eager interns. Project SEARCH is a nationwide program that aids young people with disabilities in developing work readiness skills, on-site job experience, and securing competitive, integrated employment.

The local chapter runs in three, ten-week rotations at Herkimer College, with interns supported by Arc Herkimer experiencing various campus departments, such as the library, dining hall, provost, student involvement, and more.

“Our interns were selected for Project SEARCH based on their passion to learn new skills and increase the independence necessary to obtain a job in the community,” said Catherine Loomis, vice president of community engagement and career development at Arc Herkimer. “Each showed that he/she had the potential to be successful with some additional training and experience.”

The interns begin their day with classroom instruction, led by an Arc Herkimer Career Connections’ job coach. They follow a self-advocacy curriculum based on skill-building in effective communication, computer literacy, time management, and professionalism. Afterward, interns branch off to various campus sites where they work closely with college staff and interact with students.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s program graduates and grateful for the longstanding partnership with Arc Herkimer,” said Robin Riecker, Herkimer College associate dean of academic affairs.

“Not only is Project SEARCH successful in providing participants with the skills needed for community employment, but it also delivers an enriching experience for these young adults and for those faculty, staff, and students who interact with them as well.”


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