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Bright Spots: Project SEARCH

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.

Check out the video above and then read the brief.

These bright spots were identified in collaboration with the myFutureNC Commission. The myFutureNC Commission is focused on educational attainment statewide. They are in the process of developing statewide and localized attainment goals.

Robert Kinlaw

Robert was director of multimedia for EducationNC. He is a journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker in the Triangle. Robert attended both public and private grade schools in North Carolina and graduated from the Media and Journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has produced video content for The News & Observer, ABC11-WTVD, UNC-Chapel Hill, The News Reporter and more. His short documentary Princess Warrior received an Excellence in Filmmaking award at the 2017 Carrboro Film Festival. Visit his website at

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the chief of growth for EducationNC.