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2025 Application

Project SEARCH at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Knoxville Children's Hospital is a licensed replication of a nationally recognized program developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to provide adults with developmental disabilities with education and experiences to learn skills needed for successful employment. Adults accepted into Project SEARCH participate in nine month internships, five days per week, at either host site. Each day participants receive at least one hour of classroom instruction on vocational, social, and independent living skills and approximately four hours of training as an intern at a worksite in the hospital. Internship opportunities include:


  • Patient Transportation and Registration

  • Food Services

  • Stocking and Materials Management

  • Clerical and Administrative Training

  • Pharmacy

  • Medical Records

  • Computer work including Microsoft Office, data entry

  • Medical Records

  • Sorting and filing medical supplies

  • Preparing surgery packs

  • Cleaning medical machines (i.e. machines in Respiratory Department)

  • And many more...


Project SEARCH interns experience three ten week “rotations” to learn different jobs at the hospital. Upon successful completion of their Project SEARCH internship, participants are provided with individualized supports for placement into employment at either at the host site or a collaborating local employer.


Project SEARCH at the University of Tennessee Medical Center is operated through a partnership with Breakthrough Corporation and Project SEARCH at Children's Hospital is operated through a partnership with Sertoma. Supports to the program are provided by the Knoxville Area Employment Consortium and an Employment Advisory Council comprised of Knoxville’s leading employers. Funding for Project SEARCH Internships, job placement, and job retention are provided by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) and/or the State of Tennessee, Division of Rehabilitation Services  (VR)and/or Employment and Community First Choices Program (ECF).


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