Two years ago, I profiled the Project SEARCH program at Seton Healthcare Family. The program gives on-the-job training to people with intellectual challenges. Project SEARCH interns are typically between ages 18 and 22 and are receiving special education services through the school district but already have met the minimum high school graduation requirements.
Seton was just recognized with the Excellence in Community Service Award from The Texas Hospital Association for that program. This award was created in 1995 to honor hospitals or health care systems that contribute to a community by “creating and supporting innovative programs to meet specific needs, improve health status and enhance quality of life.”
“Reflecting the community we serve is key to workforce development at Seton,” Greg Hartman, chief external and academic affairs officer, told THA. “Diversity touches on all aspects of the workforce, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From a business perspective, diversity makes sure you’re not leaving great job candidates off the list,” Hartman said.
Since 2007, 158 young adults have graduated from Project SEARCH and 90 percent became employed.
“Project SEARCH has a lasting, positive effect on the interns, their families and every Seton department the initiative touches,” Geronimo Rodriguez, vice president of diversity and community outreach for Seton, told us in 2015