DC Smithsonian Helping Young Adults with Disabilities Reach Employment through Project Search.
The Washington Smithsonian Institution’s Finance and Accounting Department is helping young people with disabilities to find employment through Project Search. The Smithsonian’s goal is to prepare its interns for full-time or part-time employment afterward, at either the institution or elsewhere.
“Project SEARCH was founded in 1996 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a school-to-work transition program for young people with disabilities, a population that struggles with finding work. In 2018, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities — physical, intellectual and emotional — was 8 percent compared with 3.7 percent for those without disabilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the Brookings Institution reports that only 40 percent of adults with disabilities in their prime working years (ages 25-54) have a job, compared to 79 percent of all prime-age adults.”
According to a recent Washington Post article, “There are over 500 Project SEARCH host sites around the world that offer hands-on job training and classroom instruction to young people with needs. In the D.C. area, they include Embassy Suites and Capitol Hilton, the National Institutes of Health, and Montgomery County Government.”
“The Smithsonian became a Project SEARCH partner in 2013 and has graduated more than 50 interns from the program since. Twenty-seven of them now work at the institution full time or part time.