Preparing for the Future- Spotlight on Project SEARCH Partnership with UConn Health and FAVARH
January 2, 2020
DDS and Representative John Hampton of the 16th district recently had the pleasure of touring the Project SEARCH site at UConn Health with provider agency The Arc of the Farmington Valley Inc (FAVARH).
Project SEARCH is an internship program that utilizes a host business to provide opportunities for young adults to learn marketable skills in an occupational setting with the goal of securing competitive employment post-internship.
At the UConn Health location, Project SEARCH hosts 4 interns this year with various roles throughout the medical center including cardiology, dental, dermatology and mail services.
Provider agency, FAVARH, offers ongoing support and training in the field and in the onsite classroom. Interns gain experience with three internship rotations throughout the 9-month program spending up to 4 hours a day with additional classroom training to assist learning employment related soft skills. Interns also travel independently within the campus and utilize public transit or other independent means to get to the site every day.
When asked about their experience, one intern said, “The best part about coming here every day is meeting new people and learning new skills.”
The interns were also asked to share their plans for the future and responses ranged from working with technology, helping people, providing direct care and working with kids. It was clear each were eager to put the skills they have learned throughout the program to good use!
Now in the midst of its fifth year, FAVARHs Project SEARCH is the longest running program in the state and has successfully graduated 25 interns to date.
FAVARH is proud to share a 94% success rate in the Project SEARCH program, with the majority of their interns moving on to become competitively employed.
DDS is thrilled to offer continued support to the Project SEARCH program and help expand its ability to create strong business partnerships and shape meaningful opportunities for individuals throughout the state. Project SEARCH currently offers six partnerships in Connecticut and has over 40 interns participating.
Congratulations to UConn Health, FAVARH and the inspiring interns on a successful partnership and program year!
For more information about Project SEARCH at UConn Health or for general information about Project SEARCH please visit:
From right to left: UConn Health CEO, Dr. Andrew Agwunobi; DDS Deputy Commissioner, Peter Mason; FAVARH intern, Liam Curran; FAVARH intern, Justin Thorn; FAVARH intern, Shante Taylor; FAVARH Executive Director, Stephen Morris; FAVARH intern, Kayla Cunningham; DDS Director of Employment and Day Services, Amber Burke; FAVARH Career Coach, Sydney Winnick; State Representative John Hampton.