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Lake City Medical Center becomes the first and only business partner for Project Search in North Florida

Program interns will have an opportunity to learn business acumen and employable/marketable skills that will benefit them on their professional pathway.  The goal of Project SEARCH is competitive employment for each student intern utilizing the skills learned during the program.   

Submitted by Noah Walker Director of Marketing and Public Relations Lake City Medical Center

Lake City, FL, April, 2017 – During an introductory meeting about “Project Search”, Lake City Medical Center jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Columbia County School District and Progressive Abilities Support Services Inc. (P.A.S.S.) to provide the business portion and missing piece of an initiative to bring value to the tri-county area through vocational training of students in the local Exceptional Student Education program. In doing so, LCMC became the host site of Project Search in which they will create up to 12 internships for the same amount of students across a variety of job types that are to be performed at the hospital.

Project SEARCH is a one-year internship program, starting 2017/18 school year, for students with significant disabilities, between the ages of 18-21, who have completed their graduation requirements. This program targets students whose goal is competitive employment.

The program will be taking place at Lake City Medical Center, where total immersion in the workplace will facilitate the teaching and learning process for employability and marketable work skills.  Students participate in three unpaid internships to explore a variety of career paths throughout the year as part of their curriculum.  

Student interns will be working with a team that includes their family, Project SEARCH instructor, skills trainer/developer and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. The team’s objective will be to create an employment goal and support the student during this important transition from school to work.   

On a day-to-day basis interns will begin their day learning employability skills in a training room at Lake City Medical Center.  After this hour-long class, the interns move to their internship, where they spend approximately five hours.  At the end of the day, the interns will return to the training room to reflect on their day, discuss challenges and evaluate progress.

“Project Search is one of the things I am most excited about getting started this year. It fits perfectly with our Mission and commitment to the care and improvement of human life. We look forward to helping prepare these young men and women with job experiences and skills that will help them compete for jobs. I see this program really making a difference in the lives of these families and having a positive impact on workforce development in Columbia, Suwanee, and Hamilton Counties. We feel honored to get to work with the represented school systems as well as P.A.S.S. and can’t wait to help get Project Search up and running.” Lake City Medical Center CEO, Mark Miller

“It has been a life-long goal to work with students with Vo-Rehab.  A bucket list checked off to start this PROJECT SEARCH.  I am so excited!” Lake City Medical Center CFO, Jill Adams

“It has taken two years to see Project SEARCH take shape for our school district and in August of 2017, our students, school district, families and community will reap the reward.   The driving force behind working to implement Project SEARCH in our school district is the passion we have for helping young adults become successful and productive citizens in our community and Project SEARCH provides all the elements to make this happen.  Columbia County School District’s partnership with Lake City Medical Center will together build a program for students to reach their goals of sustainable employment so they can live independently and productively.  Seeing students reach their lifelong goals and become successful is exactly why I chose a career in the educational profession and is what drives me in this same profession today.”
Kim Cherry, Project SEARCH Coordinator, Columbia County School District

“Our District is thrilled to partner with Lake City Medical Center in providing internships for our students with significant cognitive disabilities to obtain skills toward sustainable employment.  Every student has potential toward independence and success, which is exactly what this program provides.”
Lynn Jamison, Director of Student Support Services and Exceptional Student Education.

“The Columbia County School District is excited to partner with Lake City Medical Center in this Project Search endeavor. Our young adult students will benefit from this opportunity. It will assist them in reaching their goal of sustainable employment. I love my job because of partnerships like this that allow our students to become successful in the real world. Congratulations students and thank you Mark Miller and Lake City Medical Center!”
Lex Carswell, Superintendent of Columbia County School District

For any further information, photos, quotes, or collateral please contact Noah Walker Director of Marketing and Public Relations Lake City Medical Center. (386)269-2959