Bergen County Champions Project SEARCH

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center

Bergen County Education News: Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur joined Hackensack University Medical Center President Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., North Jersey Friendship House CEO Leonard Nicolosi, representatives of the Bergen County Special Services School, Bergen County Workforce Development Board Executive Director Tammy Molinelli, and students to share how Project SEARCH is positively impacting the lives of differently abled young adults in Bergen County. Project SEARCH is a collaborative partnership between business, education, workforce and government agencies, vocational rehabilitation, community rehabilitation providers, long-term support agencies and families, providing students who want to work a chance to explore careers and develop transferable job skills. The combination of instruction and immersion in the workplace prepares young adults with disabilities to make successful transitions from school to productive adult life. It is in its second year of operation in Bergen County.

“Project SEARCH offers real, meaningful work experience to differently abled young adults,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “This program has a positive impact, not only on these students and their families, but also on the lives they touch here at the hospital and the future employers who will benefit from hiring these dedicated young people.”

“Project SEARCH has been a game changer for our differently-abled young adults, not only in teaching them portable job skills, but changing the conversation with employers and expanding their vision about just how much these people have to offer to our workforce,” said Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur. “I’m thrilled to move into our second year with our hospital and state agency partners, all of whom recognize that programs like Project SEARCH are essential to preparing these students for fulfilling work and quality of life once they age out of the system.

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