Project Search finds opportunities at JBA

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Spencer J. Slocum
  • 11 WG/PA

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. – Lt. Col. Wanda McDonald, 11th Mission Support Group deputy commander, hosted a tour for interns and members of Project Search here last month.

Project Search, which began in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, establishes internships at local businesses and government organizations for students with disabilities. The program now has more than 500 locations worldwide; JBA is one of a few military installations among them.

"The program employs capable, dedicated personnel to support a variety of our mission functions," said McDonald.

There are nine potential work locations for the PGCPS students on JBA, including the base library, commissary and a data entry support position at the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron. For the 2019-2020 school year alone, there are currently six students scheduled for intern duties.

"The jobs not only provide job-specific skills, but attributes such as independence, confidence, interaction skills and self-esteem," said Adreinne H. Barnett, the Project Search business liaison for JBA.

Students follow the PGCPS school calendar and at the end of the program they look for full time employment.

"There are three rotations," said Roland C. White, a Project Search skills trainer. "The students get to work at three different work stations during their 10 month internship."

Project Search has the goal of improving student's skills beyond just their internships.

"The internship program doesn't just help the students while they're here," McDonald said. "It prepares them for afterwards too. It helps them grow and gives them skills they can transfer to the civilian world."