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Features Harris Regional partners with SCC for unique intern program Project SEARCH

Harris Regional Hospital will soon provide internship opportunities through Project SEARCH®, a national non-profit program which partners with businesses to create internships for young adults with disabilities. Southwestern Community College implemented Project SEARCH® in Jackson County and will partner with Harris Regional Hospital and several other local organizations to place interns beginning this fall.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Project Search® allows men and women ages 18-30 with disabilities to gain marketable and transferrable employability skills through the implementation of hands-on work experience during a series of three separate, 10- week internships matched to their individual interests, strengths, and abilities. The nationwide program collaborates with many types of organizations; local Project SEARCH® partners will include the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vocational Opportunities of Cherokee, and Smoky Mountain Center – Local Management Entity/ Managed Care Organization in addition to Harris Regional Hospital. Thanks to this program and its partnered businesses, these former students can make successful transitions from school into sustainable employment.

Six to eight Project SEARCH® interns will begin working at Harris Regional Hospital in the fall of this year. Southwestern Community College is currently recruiting individuals for these positions.

“We are thrilled to partner with SCC for such an important initiative as Project SEARCH®,” said Anetra Jones, WestCare Chief Nurse Executive. “Providing quality healthcare includes promoting an atmosphere of learning and development. This program provides the perfect platform to do so.”

As a community leader in providing quality education and aiding local programs and services, Southwestern Community College will be on-site in various departments at Harris, providing job coaching and teaching employability skills throughout the intern process.

“SCC is excited to partner with Project SEARCH® to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities in our western North Carolina communities,” said Danielle Chambless, SCC Project SEARCH® Job Coach. “Creating strong partnerships with local organizations will help make this program a success.”

An informational meeting for community partners, families, and possible recruits will be held on campus at SCC on Tuesday, July 8 at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on WestCare’s Project SEARCH® program, contact Christy Reagan, RN, BSN, CPN, Clinical Education Specialist at (828)586-7886. To learn more about the information meeting, partnering with Project SEARCH®, or recruiting interns, contact Danielle Chambless, SCC Career Readiness Instructor/Job Coach at (828)306-7036 or Devonne Jimison, local Project SEARCH® instructor at (828)339-4486.

WestCare Health System was formed through a partnership of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital in 1997 and serves Jackson, Swain, Macon and Graham counties with primary and subspecialty care, outpatient facilities and urgent care.





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