Three years ago, Mission Health brought Project SEARCH to Asheville. Project SEARCH, an international model for developing employment opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is now in its third cohort of interns.
The students must have graduated high school prior to selection. The work begins with a four-week boot camp on Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s campus and then transitions to placement at Mission Hospital or related facilities. Given a nearly 50 percent unemployment rate for people with disabilities, this program is filling an urgent need.