The Delaware Department of Transportation was recognized as the 2018 National Division on Career Development and Transition Employer of the Year Award.

This award is presented to an employer or business that has shown commitment to promoting or providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities.

In 2017, DelDOT became the first state agency in Delaware to join Project SEARCH, a program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Seven interns attended for the 2017-18 program year. Participating students attend the program for a full school year to gain work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help youths with disabilities make successful transitions from school to productive adult lives. The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching and continuous feedback from teachers, skills trainers and employers. As a result, students with intellectual disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs.

“Our department has embraced the Project SEARCH program and we are honored to receive this recognition,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan. “Not only has this been a valuable experience for the interns, but our employees as well. We also have been able to offer full-time employment to several members of the first class as a result of their work with DelDOT, and are excited about the 10 interns that have joined us for the 2018-2019 school year.”

The program is made possible with the partnership amongst DelDOT, Autism Delaware, Community Integrated Services, Caesar Rodney School District, the Department of Labor and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

DCDT’s mission is to promote national and international efforts to improve the quality of and access to, career/vocational and transition services, increase the participation of education in career development and transition goals and to influence policies affecting career development and transition services for persons with disabilities.

Project SEARCH is a national program that began at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996 and has grown to more than 300 sites across the U.S. and Europe.

For more, visit projectsearch.us.