Preparing for the Future- Spotlight on Project SEARCH at Mohegan Sun

March 2, 2020

As an Employment First agency, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is committed to providing meaningful employment opportunities to people we support and offering various employment initiatives that focus on job-skill development.

Toward this goal, DDS qualified provider agency United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Eastern CT is working with Mohegan Sun to expand employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual disability. UCP of Eastern CT has adopted the Project SEARCH Internship program, a business led internship program for young adults interested in developing employment skills with a goal of gaining competitive employment in their community.

Joe bouchard, Joseph Aponte and Lillian Franklin

Joe Bouchard, Joseph Aponte and Lillian Franklin, three of the Project SEARCH interns at Mohegan Sun

The Project SEARCH internship program runs for 9 months, from September through May, where interns attend classroom training and learn daily skills, community interaction techniques & employment skills. In addition to classroom training in the host site, they complete three different internship rotations, each ten weeks, learning transferrable employment skills which they will utilize when placed in competitive jobs at the end of the internship year.

For the 2019-2020 class, interns are working in the following areas at Mohegan Sun: Exterior Grounds maintenance, Environmental Services, Coat check and Employee Wardrobe services. Along with providing oversight, support, ongoing coordination and an opportunity for daily reflection, UCP also facilitated opportunities for interns to learn about transportation/mobility, healthy relationships, customer service, self-advocacy, health & wellness, financial literacy and more.

Joseph Aponte and Joe Bouchard

Joseph & Joe complete daily maintenance during their internship in EVS department at Mohegan Sun


Sky Drake


Sky Drake completes tasks in a coat check room during his 2nd internship rotation


On a recent tour of the program, interns from the 2019-2020 class shared their gratification working at Mohegan Sun as a host site as well as taking part in the Project SEARCH program.  DDS wants to congratulate all the interns that are a part of Project SEARCH.  It is clear you each have a very bright future ahead!  For further information on Project SEARCH at Mohegan Sun or to refer a prospective intern, contact or call Kia Baird, 860.443.3800 ext. 306


Staff & administrators from United Cerebral Palsy, DDS and Mohegan Sun Group Photo


Staff & administrators from United Cerebral Palsy, DDS and Mohegan Sun join
 Project SEARCH interns for a group photo