Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH program is an evidence-based one-year internship for students with intellectual, developmental or cognitive disabilities who are in their last year of high school eligibility. The internship provides students with the opportunity to practice a variety of employment skills in a professional environment and learn what it means to be a valued member of the workforce. The goal of Project SEARCH is for interns to obtain competitive integrated employment after graduation.

White Bear School Area Schools started Project SEARCH in 2017 in partnership with the Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare. 


Departments at Gillette that have hosted Project SEARCH students:

  • Environmental Services
  • Patient Engagement
  • Supply Chain
  • Orthotics, Prosthetics, & Seating
  • Human Resources/Education
  • Surgical Services & Sterile Processing
  • Perianesthesia
  • Administration
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Inpatient Units
  • Health Information Management
  • Therapeutic Rec

Types of tasks our students perform:

  • Data entry, scanning, faxing, organizing files, print reports
  • Collect and file documents throughout the hospital
  • Mail and supply delivery, picking orders, stocking supply carts and closets
  • Clean & sanitize equipment, maintain welcome areas and waiting rooms
  • Measure and cut straps, make cast molds, trace/cut foam
  • Organize surgical supplies, assemble instruments, assist with sterilization
  •  Interact with patients, families and welcome them to our facility

White Bear Lake Area Schools collaborates with community partners to give students real work experiences.  There is an application process including completing an application, interview and skills assessment for students interested in becoming an Project SEARCH intern. Gillette hosts an average of 6-7 students each school year, with each student completing 3 rotations working in different departments with varying tasks. This is an unpaid internship experience. Students also receive classroom instruction during their day at Gillette. 

Students accepted to Project SEARCH are immersed fully into the workplace at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, MN. Classroom instruction, career exploration, and job skills training are all part of the day at Project SEARCH. Please contact your child's case manager or  work coordinator to find out if you or your child is eligible for Project SEARCH and how to apply.

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is located at 200 University Avenue East, St. Paul, MN.



Transition Education Center

Graduation Videos

2019 graduates of the program share their insights about Project SEARCH.