Abilis, the nonprofit organization providing services and support to more than 800 individuals with special needs and their families throughout Fairfield County, is pleased to announce the launch of its third internship program with Project SEARCH for young adults with disabilities, which recently started in partnership with Stamford Health. The nine-month long internship program teaches new job skills and is part of the national Project SEARCH program, which traditionally partners with hospitals around the country. Stamford Health is Abilis’ third Project SEARCH location in Fairfield County, with other programs running at Greenwich Hospital and the Darien YMCA.
“Our team has been working for the past eight months to be able to offer Project SEARCH at Stamford Health and we are so thrilled that our first class of interns officially started a few weeks ago,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “The Stamford Health teams have been exceptionally welcoming to Abilis and those we support, and we are very excited about this new partnership.”
Project SEARCH is a successful national program that offers total immersion in the workplace by facilitating the teaching and learning processes, as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Students participate in three unpaid internships throughout the program and explore a variety of career paths.
Abilis is a certified and licensed Project SEARCH program provider and is excited to be able to offer this beneficial program at more Fairfield County locations, including Stamford Health.
“It is important for us to have job training opportunities in the communities where those we support reside,” noted Amy Montimurro. “Having Project SEARCH programs in Greenwich, Darien and now Stamford, really helps expand the reach of these programs and helps young adults obtain the much-needed job skills right in their own community.”
The Project SEARCH program at Stamford Health includes rotation of jobs in three different departments throughout the hospital, including materials management, environmental sciences, food services and the operating room.
“We are thrilled to partner with Abilis to bring Project SEARCH to Stamford Health and the communities we serve,” noted Sal Mancino, Stamford Health vice president of Human Resources. “At Stamford Health, we are committed to being a ‘Great Place to Work’ for all and providing a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Our four interns from Abilis are making immense contributions and leave a lasting impression on everyone they encounter. I would like to thank the teams across our organization who are mentoring our interns and helping them learn meaningful employment skills for the future.”
Abilis and its Project SEARCH programs also collaborate with local school districts and the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services to place interns in the program. To be eligible for Project SEARCH, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and have a developmental disability and want to work competitively. If the young adult is currently a high school student, a recommendation is required by their school district. For other young adults, tuition is paid by the Department of Developmental Services (for those eligible) or a family may choose to pay privately.
Abilis is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals and their families from birth throughout their lives. Founded in 1951, Abilis is a leader in providing meaningful supports to the community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport and Wilton. The organization has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high-quality care. For more information, visit www.abilis.us, or follow on Facebook @Abilis, Inc., Instagram @abilis_us or Twitter @Abilis.