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,
Teacher: Kendall Rider,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Desirae Vallier,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring Schools: Millard Public Schools

Children's Hospital & Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Suzanne Nocita,
Teacher: Corrie Philo,
VR: Matt Skinner,
ATP: Brooke Harrie,
NCBVI: Kathy Brown-Hollins,
Referring school: Westside Community

Columbus Community Hospital Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Reye Snitily,
Teacher: Mark Staroscik,
VR: Hannah Miller,
ATP: Melissa Soulliere,
NCBVI: John Schmitt,
Referring Schools: ESU7

Embassy Suites LaVista/Omaha Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: David Scott,
Teacher: Jackie Brown,
VR: Kathleen O'Grady-Bell,; Kady Revis,
ATP: Desirae Vallier,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring Schools: Papillion LaVista

Embassy Suites/Lincoln Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Heather Brethouwer,
Teacher: Kim Hovendick,
VR: Laurie Colburn,
ATP: David Altman,
NCBVI: Eric Buckwalter,
Referring Schools: Lincoln Public Schools

Embassy Suites/Old Market Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Julie Cariglio,
Teacher: Nicole Berke,
VR: Carly Benson,
ATP: Desirae Vallier,
NCBVI: Timothy Jefferson,; Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: Omaha Public Schools

Faith Regional Health Services Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Lacey Hoesing,
Teacher: Jodi Coolidge,
VR: Shelley Dahl,; Kara Michaelson,
ATP: Melissa Soulliere,
NCBVI: John Schmitt,
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,
Teacher: Michial Templeton,
VR: Lupe Stevens,; Cindy Powell,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart,; Cristal Dimas,
Referring school: Kearney Public Schools

Mary Lanning Health Care Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Renee Sluka,
Teacher: Amy Vetter,
VR: Tracy Middleton,
ATP: Roxanne Rowley,
NCBVI: Cristal Dimas,
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,
Teacher: Mark Schipper,
VR: Shelley Dahl,
ATP: Melissa Soulliere,
NCBVI: John Schmitt,

Nebraska Medicine Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Thomas Hoffman,; Jon Nguyen,
Teacher: Chris Miller,,
VR: Matt Skinner,
ATP: Desirae Vallier,
NCBVI: Kathy Brown-Hollins,; Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: Madonna School

PayPal Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Claudia Erickson,;
Teacher: Byron Olsen,
VR: Deb Dixon,; Kady Revis,
ATP: Desirae Vallier,
NCBVI: Kelly Coleman,; Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: Bellevue Public School

Saint Elizabeth Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: April Isaacs,
Teacher: Cheryl Ladd,
VR: Blaine Harvey,
ATP: David Altman,
NCBVI: Connie Daly,
Referring school: Waverly, Norris, Crete, Malcolm, Syracuse, Wahoo, and surrounding districts.

Saint Francis Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison:
Teacher: Hope McMurty,
VR. Felipe Cruz,
ATP: Roxanne Rowley,
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart,; Cristal Dimas,

Valmont Industries Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Lisa Lenz,
Teacher: Andrea Street,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Melissa Soulliere,
NCBVI: Ashley Pinkelman,; Nancy Flearl,

Wal-Mart Distribution Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Mark Oettinger,
Teacher: Dee Tuenge,
VR: Katie Cain,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart,

York General Hospital Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Cathy Norquist,
Teacher: Nichole Wetjen,
VR: JD Simmons,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Amy Buresh,
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