Nebraska VR Where your future begins

Project SEARCH

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion in a large business.

Project SEARCH Success Story

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Nebraska VR, a business, area school systems, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Assistive Technology Partnership, and Division of Developmental Disabilities. This one year school-to-work program is business led and takes place entirely in the workplace. The experience includes a combination of classroom instruction, job exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.

Helping Students Develop Competitive Employment Skills

Project SEARCH is a high school transition program that provides training and education intended to lead to employment for individuals with disabilities. Students who have completed their academic requirements may apply if they are in their last year of high school. Each interested student is required to make a formal application to the program and to interview with a selection committee. Students are selected through a rating process by a committee consisting of representatives of a school, Nebraska VR, and the Project SEARCH host business. All students must be eligible for services with Nebraska VR.

Seriously Unique High School Transition Program

The program provides real-life work experience to help youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to adult life. Each student participates in three 10-week internships during the school year. In each rotation the student learns job-specific skills while having the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. Monthly progress meetings are held to help students define their career goal and to plan necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Program Model

Project SEARCH is an international trademarked and copyrighted program model, which focuses solely on employment for Project SEARCH interns.

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion in a large business. For five days a week students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom, and job skills while participating in a variety of work experiences. Managers at the internship sites work with the Project SEARCH staff to support the students during the day. Students get continuous feedback from the internship manager, co-workers, and Project SEARCH staff. A certified special education teacher and skills trainer work with both the students and the business staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning, and journaling key learning points. The goal upon program completion and graduation is to utilize skills acquired during the internship for gainful employment.

Want more information?

Email the Marketing Team at Nebraska VR or see the list of Project Search Contacts.

Project SEARCH Sites

View Project SEARCH Sites in a larger map.

Find Project SEARCH in your area.

CHI Health Good Samaritan Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Cindi Barto,
Teacher: Steph Maaske,
VR: Elaine Anderson,; Cindy Powell,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Cristal Dimas,
Referring school: Kearney Public Schools

CHI Health Saint Francis Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Tara Shaw,
Teacher: Michella Honas,
VR. Felipe Cruz,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart,; Cristal Dimas,
Referring school: Grand Island Public School

Children's Hospital & Medical Center Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Shavonne Washington- Krauth,
Teacher: Melissa Scheidt,
VR: Risa Jensen
ATP: Brooke Harrie,; Maddie Piittmann,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring School: Westside Community

Cornhusker Marriott Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Codie Meehan,
Teacher: Stacy Buescher,
VR: Blaine Harvey,
ATP: David Altman,
NCBVI: Eric Buckwalter,
Referring school: Waverly, Norris, Crete, Malcolm, Syracuse, Wahoo, and surrounding districts

Embassy Suites LaVista/Omaha Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Sandy Buonanni,
Teacher: Alyssa Prideaux,
VR: Travis Upshaw
ATP: Brooke Harrie,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring Schools: Papillion LaVista

Embassy Suites/Lincoln Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Heather Brethouwer,
Teacher: Kim Hovendick,
VR: Cliff Troyer,
ATP: David Altman,
NCBVI: Eric Buckwalter,
Referring Schools: Lincoln Public Schools

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital Omaha Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Jeff Stec,
Teacher: Andrea Street,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Brooke Harrie,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: Elkhorn Public School

Mary Lanning Health Care Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Brad Lindblad,
Teacher: Amy Vetter,
VR: Kara Allee,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Cristal Dimas,
Referring schools: Hastings, Adams, Central Silver Lake, Doniphan-Trumball, Kenesaw, Blue Hill, Harvard, Superior, ESU 9

Mid Plains Community College Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Amy Sabatk,
Teacher: Lisa Birge,
VR: Katie Cain,
ATP: Pam Cody,
NCBVI: Sarah Stewart,
Referring School: North Platte Public School

Nebraska Medicine (Main Campus) Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Saige Vohs,
Teacher: Chris Miller,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Brooke Harrie, Maddie Pitman
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: OPS

Nebraska Medicine Bellevue

Business Liaison: Brian Schram,
Teacher: Renee Proksel,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Brooke Harrie,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring school: Bellevue

The Heritage at Sterling Ridge Project SEARCH

Business Liaison: Crystal Douglas
Teacher: Kendall Rider,
VR: Lindsay Brown,
ATP: Brooke Harrie,
NCBVI: Nancy Flearl,
Referring Schools: Millard Public Schools

Watch Pathway to Employment Video Series

The Pathway to Employment Video Series is designed to de-mystify the many services provided to clients and businesses while highlighting the innovation that is the culture of Nebraska VR. While certainly each story is either one of progress towards an employment goal or a client's employment goal success, they are also stories about the important role played by staff members, businesses, ATP, Easter Seals, Project SEARCH, and others. Go to:

Our Mission

We help people with disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment while helping businesses recruit, train, and retain employees with disabilities.

Contact Us

Nebraska VR
Nebraska Department of Education
Address: P.O. Box 94987, Lincoln, NE 68510
Telephone: 402-471-3644
Toll Free: 877-637-3422 or 877-NE-REHAB
FAX: 402-471-0788