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Young adults with disabilities now have a new internship opportunity thanks to a partnership between Jewish Senior Life and Heritage Christian Services. Beginning on Oct. 2, the two organizations will offer Project SEARCH®, a nationally recognized work preparation program for people age 18 to 35 who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

The B. Thomas Golisano Foundation brought Project SEARCH to the Rochester area and provided the essential funding to develop local partnerships.

“We are thrilled to be one of only 17 employers selected in New York State as a Project SEARCH employment site, and only the second senior living community in New York,” said Michael King, President/CEO of Jewish Senior Life. “Our partnership with Heritage Christian Services will help address a significant community need for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.”

Through Project SEARCH at Jewish Senior Life, interns will benefit from classroom instruction, career exploration and hands-on learning with mentors, empowering them to master skills needed for competitive employment.

“People often think of a job as a way to get a paycheck, but it is so much more than that,” said Marianne Durrant, director of the Employment Alliance at Heritage Christian Services. “When you have work that means something to you, it opens the door to having more confidence, a sense of contributing and a new – more equal – level of socializing.”

Support from Heritage Christian Services will be provided throughout the program, and additional supporting partners include the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation and Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities.

Ten interns will be selected for Project SEARCH at Jewish Senior Life, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For more information or to apply for the program, contact Marianne Durrant at mdurrant@heritagechristianservices.org or (585) 340-2009.

About Project SEARCH:
Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which is still the administrative headquarters for the organization. Project SEARCH is a business-led, one-year work-preparation program for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Most participants are enrolled while transitioning from high school to work. The hallmark of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion, which facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training. Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for every program participant. For more information, visit www.projectsearch.us.

About Jewish Senior Life:
Serving people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds, Jewish Senior Life is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) guided by the values of honoring family and aging in place. Jewish Senior Life offers all levels of care on a single campus, from independent living to skilled nursing care, along with a variety of programs and services for people living outside its campus. Consistently recognized for its high-quality care, customer satisfaction and for being a great place to work, Jewish Senior Life is CARF accredited and was named a 2017-2018 Best Nursing Home by U.S. News & World Report as well as a 2018 Top Workplace by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Jewish Senior Life is a member of the Alliance for Senior Care of Greater Rochester, Leading Age, Leading Age New York, and the Association of Jewish Aging Services. For more information, please visit www.jewishseniorlife.org.

About Heritage Christian Services:
HCS partners with thousands of people throughout Rochester and Buffalo to ensure everyone – including children and people with developmental disabilities – feels valued and respected. Most of the agency’s more than 2,500 employees work directly with people who have disabilities so they can find the best place to live and work and build strong community connections. Other employees work with children at Expressive Beginnings Child Care in Henrietta, Greece or Webster. Thanks to their dedication, HCS is recognized as one of New York’s top service providers for people with disabilities, has earned national accreditation and won a prestigious local award for business ethics.

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