Nebraska VR Where your future begins

Project SEARCH

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion in a large business.

Project SEARCH Success Story

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Nebraska VR, a business, area school systems, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Assistive Technology Partnership, and Division of Developmental Disabilities. This one year school-to-work program is business led and takes place entirely in the workplace. The experience includes a combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.

Helping Students Develop Competitive Employment Skills

Project SEARCH is a high school transition program that provides training and education intended to lead to employment for individuals with disabilities. Students who have completed their academic requirements may apply if they are in their last year of high school. Each interested student is required to make a formal application to the program and to interview with a selection committee. Students are selected through a rating process by a committee consisting of representatives of a school, Nebraska VR, and the Project SEARCH host business. All students must be eligible for services with Nebraska VR.

Seriously Unique High School Transition Program

The program provides real-life work experience to help youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to adult life. Each student participates in three 10-week internships during the school year. In each rotation the student learns job-specific skills while having the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. Monthly progress meetings are held to help students define their career goal and to plan necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Program Model

Project SEARCH is an international trademarked and copyrighted program model, which focuses solely on employment for Project SEARCH interns.

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion in a large business. For five days a week students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom, and job skills while participating in a variety of work experiences. Managers at the internship sites work with the Project SEARCH staff to support the students during the day. Students get continuous feedback from the internship manager, co-workers, and Project SEARCH staff. A certified special education teacher and job coaches work with both the students and the business staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning, and journaling key learning points. The goal upon program completion and graduation is to utilize skills acquired during the internship for gainful employment.

Want more information?

Email the Marketing Team at Nebraska VR or see the list of Project Search Contacts.

Project SEARCH Sites


View Project SEARCH Sites in a larger map.

Find Project SEARCH in your area.

Cabela's La Vista Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: David Wade, david.wade@cabelas.com
Teacher: Kendall Rider, karider@mpsomaha.org
VR: Lindsay Brown, lindsay.brown@nebraska.gov
ATP: Desirae Vallier, desirae.vallier@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov
Referring Schools: Millard Public Schools

Children's Hospital & Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Suzanne Nocita, sunocita@childrensomaha.org
Teacher: Corrie Philo, philo.corrie@westside66.net
VR: Matt Skinner, matthew.skinner@nebraska.gov
ATP: Brooke Harrie, brooke.harrie@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Kathy Brown-Hollins, kathy.brown-hollins@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Westside Community

Columbus Community Hospital Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Reye Snitily, rlsnitily@columbushosp.org
Teacher: Mark Staroscik, staroscikm@discoverers.org
VR: Hannah Miller, hannah.miller@nebraska.gov
ATP: Melissa Soulliere, melissa.soulliere@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: John Schmitt, john.schmitt@nebraska.gov
Referring Schools: ESU7

Embassy Suites LaVista/Omaha Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: David Scott, david.scott@jgh.com
Teacher: Jackie Brown, jacbrown@paplv.org
VR: Kathleen O'Grady-Bell, kathleen.ogrady-bell@nebraska.gov; Kady Revis, kady.revis@nebraska.gov
ATP: Desirae Vallier, desirae.vallier@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov
Referring Schools: Papillion LaVista

Embassy Suites/Lincoln Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Heather Brethouwer, heather.brethouwer@jqh.com
Teacher: Kim Hovendick, khovend@lps.org
VR: Laurie Colburn, laurie.colburn@nebraska.gov
ATP: David Altman, david.altman@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Eric Buckwalter, eric.buckwalter@nebraska.gov
Referring Schools: Lincoln Public Schools

Embassy Suites/Old Market Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Julie Cariglio, julie.cariglio@atriumhospitality.com
Teacher: Nicole Berke, Nicole.berke@ops.org
VR: Carly Benson, carly.benson@nebraska.org
ATP: Desirae Vallier, desirae.vallier@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Timothy Jefferson, timothy.jefferson@nebraska.gov; Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Omaha Public Schools

Faith Regional Health Services Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Lacey Hoesing, lhoesing@frhs.org
Teacher: Jodi Coolidge, Jodicoolidge@npsne.org
VR: Shelley Dahl, shelley.dahl@nebraska.gov; Kara Michaelson, kara.michaelson@nebraska.gov
ATP: Melissa Soulliere, Melissa.soulliere@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: John Schmitt, john.schmitt@nebraska.gov
Referring schools: Norfolk, Norfolk Catholic, Lutheran, Madison, Battle Creek, Pierce, Stanton, Wayne, Winside, ESU 8

Good Samaritan Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Amada Henson, amandahenson@catholichealth.net
Teacher: Michial Templeton, mictempleton@kearneycats.com
VR: Lupe Stevens, lupe.stevens@nebraska.gov; Cindy Powell, cindy.powell@nebraska.gov
ATP: Pam Cody, pam.cody@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart, sarah.stewart@nebraska.gov; Cristal Dimas, cristal.dimas@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Kearney Public Schools

Mary Lanning Health Care Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Renee Sluka, rsluka@marylanning.org
Teacher: Amy Vetter, avetter02@gmail.com
VR: Tracy Middleton, tracy.middleton@nebraska.gov
ATP: Roxanne Rowley, Roxanne.rowley@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Cristal Dimas, cristal.dimas@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Hastings, Adams, Central Silver Lake, Doniphan-Trumball, Kenesaw, Blue Hill, Harvard, Superior, ESU 9

Mercy Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Pat Rodriguez, rodrigup@mercyhealth.com
Teacher: Mark Schipper, mschipper@unpsk-12.org
VR: Shelley Dahl, shelley.dahl@nebraska.gov
ATP: Melissa Soulliere, melissa.soulliere@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: John Schmitt, john.schmitt@nebraska.gov

Nebraska Medicine Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Thomas Hoffman, thhoffman@nebraskamed.com; Jon Nguyen, jnguyen@nebraskamed.com
Teacher: Chris Miller, Cmills012@yahoo.com, cmiller@madonnaschool.org
VR: Matt Skinner, matthew.skinner@nebraska.gov
ATP: Desirae Vallier, desirae.vallier@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Kathy Brown-Hollins, kathy.brown-hollins@nebraska.gov; Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Madonna School

PayPal Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Claudia Erickson, cerickson@paypal.com;
Teacher: Byron Olsen, Byron.olsen@bpsne.net
VR: Deb Dixon, deborah.dixon@nebraska.gov; Kady Revis, kady.revis@nebraska.gov
ATP: Desirae Vallier, desirae.vallier@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Kelly Coleman, Kelly.coleman@nebraska.gov; Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Bellevue Public School

Saint Elizabeth Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: April Isaacs, AIsaacs@stez.org
Teacher: Cheryl Ladd, cheryl.ladd@district145.org
VR: Blaine Harvey, blaine.harvey@nebraska.gov
ATP: David Altman, david.altman@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Connie Daly, connie.m.daly@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Waverly, Norris, Crete, Malcolm, Syracuse, Wahoo, and surrounding districts.

Saint Francis Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison:
Teacher: Hope McMurty, Hmcmurtry@gips.org
VR. Felipe Cruz, felipe.cruz@nebraska.gov
ATP: Roxanne Rowley, roxanne.rowley@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart, sarah.stewart@nebraska.gov; Cristal Dimas, cristal.dimas@nebraska.gov

Valmont Industries Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Lisa Lenz, lisa.lenz@valmont.com
Teacher: Andrea Street, astreet@epsne.org
VR: Lindsay Brown, lindsay.brown@nebraska.gov
ATP: Melissa Soulliere, melissa.soulliere@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Ashley Pinkelman, ashley.pinkelman@nebraska.gov; Nancy Flearl, nancy.flearl@nebraska.gov

Wal-Mart Distribution Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Mark Oettinger, mark.oettinger@wal-mart.com
Teacher: Dee Tuenge, dtuenge@nppsd.org
VR: Katie Cain, katie.cain@nebraska.gov
ATP: Pam Cody, pam.cody@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart, sarah.stewart@nebraska.gov

York General Hospital Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Cathy Norquist, cathy.norquist@yorkgeneral.org
Teacher: Nichole Wetjen, Nichole.wetjen@esu6.org
VR: JD Simmons, jd.simmons@nebraska.gov
ATP: Pam Cody, pam.cody@nebraska.gov
NCBVI: Amy Buresh, amy.buresh@nebraska.gov
Referring school: Wilbur, Claytonia, Utica-Centennial, York, McCool Junction, Heartland, and Shickley

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Nebraska Department of Education not to discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin or genetic information in its education programs, administration, policies, employment or other agency programs.

Our Mission

We help people with disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment while helping businesses recruit, train, and retain employees with disabilities.

Contact Us

Nebraska VR
Department of Education, State of Nebraska
Address: P.O. Box 94987, Lincoln, NE 68509
Telephone: 402-471-3644
Toll Free: 877-637-3422 or 877-NE-REHAB
FAX: 402-471-0788
E-mail: