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Project SEARCH


Project SEARCH is a one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely inside Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ. The hallmarks of Project SEARCH are total workplace immersion and a singular goal of competitive employment within the community for every program graduate upon completion of the skills-building experience. We strive to achieve that goal by creating an atmosphere of high expectations. Since the program first launched in 2016, we have successfully placed 73% of our graduates in paid employment positions, including 15 at Overlook (part of Atlantic Health System).

The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of skills training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from instructors, skills trainers, and business mentors. As a result, Project SEARCH helps young adults with disabilities develop the habits and mindsets needed to make them successful for the duration of their working life. Beyond hard and soft skills acquisition, Interns learn the expectations of employers in both the recruitment process and in the workplace. Once Interns complete the program, they receive effective follow-along services to enter and advance in the workforce.

Students applying to Project SEARCH have completed all of their high school graduation requirements and are usually entering their last year of high school/entitlement services. Students and families must agree to plan to accept a high school diploma at the completion of the program. Applicants are typically 20 years old. In some cases, ages 18-19. They have a variety of disabilities that may include, but are not limited to, autism spectrum disorders, communication impairments, cognitive impairments, and physical or medical impairments. Students sometimes have multiple disabilities. All students are motivated to develop critical skills for future employment. Students are not interested in pursuing post-secondary education at this time. Students must have basic communication skills and be able to follow basic directions. Students who require a one-to-one classroom aide are not appropriate for this program.    

Students are responsible for traveling to and from the program on their own either by driving themselves or getting a ride from a parent, or by using public transportation (NJ Transit or Access Link). In some special circumstances, students may be approved to use district provided transportation. All accepted students receive Intensive travel training during the summer before the program begins.

Applications for the Project SEARCH program are accepted on a rolling basis between November 1st and May 1st. 

To apply to Project SEARCH, please visit:

Project SEARCH Application

If you have any other questions about the program, please contact Mr. Josh Bornstein, our program director at (908) 895-8585.

Applying to Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH Program Partners

Project SEARCH Outcomes

Project SEARCH In the News

Project SEARCH Parent Resources