Project SEARCH Graduates Seven Interns
Jun 12, 2017 Share

Three formally announce new employment status

(ST. JOSEPH) – Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (Berrien RESA), in partnership with Lakeland Health, recently celebrated the achievements of the first cohort of interns participating in Project SEARCH which provides students with disabilities a one-year skills building experience focused on classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training. Of the six interns to complete the program, three students have been offered employment opportunities through Lakeland Health including, Jerry Coleman, Nutrition Services; Kenneth Schroeder, Central Processing; and Connor Craig, Volunteer Services.

“Each of the Project SEARCH interns have helped us to look at diversity and inclusion from a different standpoint and truly understand what it means,” said Norma Tirado, Vice President of Human Resources, Information Technology, Organizational Transformation, and Chief Talent and Transformation Officer. “I’ve never seen one single program have such a large impact on an organization, and I am thankful for all we’ve learned together along the way.”

“We’re very fortunate to have this program in southwest Michigan and are thankful for the many partnerships that made this possible,” said Craig Blasko, Berrien RESA Supervisor of Ancillary Services and Programs.

Project SEARCH is a school-to-work transition opportunity for students with disabilities in Berrien County.  While the program itself has existed since 1996, Lakeland Health is the area’s first location to host the internship experience. Project SEARCH is coordinated by Berrien RESA and is supported by the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, Disability Network, Riverwood Center, and Michigan Rehabilitation Services.  

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