Project SEARCH is a nationally acclaimed nine-month unpaid internship program that provides employability training for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program occurs onsite in partnership with local businesses who commit to integrating the interns into the workplace culture.

The typical Project SEARCH Program Year

Interns spend 3 months working in 3 different departments in the host business. 

Interns spend the first hour of their 6 hour day in a classroom setting learning employability skills such as:

  • Team building
  • Workplace safety
  • Technology
  • Self-advocacy
  • Maintaining employment
  • Financial literacy
  • Health and wellness
  • Preparing for employment

The interns then head off to work in their internship rotations. Each intern works in a different department, fully integrated into the team. The interns have a supervisor/mentor who serves as a trainer and 'natural support' on the job. This Mentor offers advice and feedback in real-time to the intern while they work together. Two skills trainers are onsite to work with the interns focusing on mastering difficult tasks and building any job aids or accommodations the interns may need.

We end our day back in the classroom for journaling and daily debriefing. We focus on successes and challenges for the day and plan for the following day. 

Is Project SEARCH a good fit for you?

  • Do you have the desire to seek competitive employment, with assistance throughout the entirety of the internship and at the completion of the Project SEARCH program?
  • Are you at least 18 years if age at the time of application?
  • Do you meet eligibility requirements for Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services?
  • Do you meet eligibility requirements for the State of Oregon Developmental Disabilities Services or Brokerage services?
  • Can you provide documentation for legal right to work in the US?
  • Are you willing to participate in the program hours of 9 am to 3:30 pm, 5 days per week with a half-hour lunch break?


What does the application process look like?

  • Complete the application and submit by the deadline.
  • Attend an information night and ask questions of the staff and current interns.
  • Complete and interview with the Project SEARCH committee.
  • Complete host business required drug, background and health screening.



Click here for the Embassy Suites Washington Square Project SEARCH application. 

  • For those selected to participate, an on-boarding event will take place and the candidate will be required to pass a criminal history background screening.

Click here for the Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center Project SEARCH application.

Click here for the Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center Project SEARCH application. 

Contact us to learn more about Project SEARCH.