Adelante is proud to be part of Project SEARCH along with Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, New Mexico Department of Health, and the University of New Mexico’s Center for Development and Disability.

Project SEARCH will help 11 Rio Rancho high school students with disabilities learn job-related skills during three 10-week rotations in various departments of Presbyterian Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho.

Students will have support from Adelante job coaches and on-the-job mentors during their internships, and will learn interview and résumé-writing skills, professional communication, and teamwork in addition to their job-specific skills.

“Less than 30% of adults with disabilities in our country are able to find meaningful employment,” says Mike Kivitz, President and CEO of Adelante. “People with disabilities can be very capable employees, and initiatives like Project SEARCH provide opportunities for people to learn and demonstrate their skills.”

Angela Ward, RN, Hospital Administrator at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center says, “With this program, our staff and providers have a unique opportunity to help students get the skills and experience they need for future career opportunities, hopefully here at our hospital.”

“Adelante has a primary focus of helping people find work in the community in careers of their choice,” Kivitz says, ”so we are happy to lend our experience to this initiative. This project would not be possible without the leadership of Presbyterian, and we are proud to work with them to get this going.”

This is the first time Project SEARCH has been offered in Rio Rancho, and is modeled after the Project SEARCH program the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital launched in 1996.