Project SEARCH accepting applications for September 2020

Youth. 2019 Project SEARCH enrollment has maxed out with seven interns in rotation and the application process for September 2020 is now open.

15 Nov 2019 | 02:51

    Sussex County Educational Services has announced its partnership with Atlantic Health Services at Newton Medical Center and Project SEARCH Program is off to a great start. This year’s enrollment maxed out with seven interns ranging from ages 18-21. Intern rotations thus far include Materials, Environmental Services, Food Service, Wound Care, Physical Therapy, The Heart Center, Patient Access, and Patient Transport.

    The interns first rotation will end in December, and then they will begin a new round with a new mentor. Mentor relationships and responsibilities are an integral part of the growth process. Mentors were chosen by department leaders and paired up with Project SEARCH interns for each rotation. Interns are not only building relationships, but feel part of the team they are working with. Newton Medical staff, Nina McGrath said that her staff also enjoy the relationship and admit Project SEARCH has made coming to work more enjoyable for her staff, “we have been missing this program at Newton Medical Center.”

    Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term skills training, and continuous feedback from mentors, teachers, skills trainers, and employers. As a result, at the completion of the training program, students with significant intellectual disabilities can be employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs.

    The total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through work site rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development. SCESC, partnered with New Jersey Department of Labor- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Developmental Disabilities. Additional partner agencies include NJ Transit, ENABLE, and other transition agencies supporting students with special needs.

    This new program is now accepting applications for the September 2020 School Year.

    For more information or to RSVP, call 973-222-1671 and ask to speak to Project SEARCH Coordinator Jaime Westerfield, or speak with your child’s case manager at the child's public school, or send email to

    The Sussex County Educational Services Commission (SCESC) is a public-school district located in Sparta, New Jersey. Composed of member school districts and governed by representative Board of Directors from member districts, the Commission is designed to identify needs and provide innovative services to students at both public and nonpublic schools.

    The SCESC also functions as a resource for schools, families, and the community at large. Professional development programs and workshops for parents and community members provide on-going training opportunities. Northern Hills Academy is a public school that provides programs and services to special needs students who are aged three to twenty-one years old. The school serves Sussex County and beyond, and tailors their programs to meet each student's individual needs. Therapists provide a comprehensive program that can be integrated easily in the classroom. NHA created a classroom that supports natural environment teaching.