Project SEARCH - How to Apply

This is a great program – how do we start a Project SEARCH program in our community?

Step 1. First, you will need to submit an application, which will provide evidence of your preliminary interest from the following partners:

  • Education Partner – Local school district(s) including Special Education and Transition Services
  • Employment Agency Partner – To provide skills training and job development.
  • Business Site – It is optional to have a business already identified at application. The team will have time to locate the business during the planning year.

Note: The application can be submitted by any of the partners listed above.

Step 2. The CDD will review your application, offer feedback about feasibility, and provide recommendations for next steps.

Step 3. Often, the next step is to assemble a meeting of your prospective collaboration partners. The UNM-CDD-PFE Statewide Project SEARCH coordinator, will assist you in organizing this local meeting with key representatives from your school, your local supported employment agency, DVR, DDSD, parent stakeholders, and representatives from potential business partners if available. This first meeting will include an overview of the Project SEARCH model – specifically the roles, responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities for each collaborating partner.

Step 4. Once all the partners are committed, all partners will sign the Project SEARCH licensing agreement.

Step 5. The Planning Year for Project SEARCH—a process usually lasting 9-12 months-- then commences in the fall and continues through the spring, with the goal of launching the first class of interns at the beginning of the following academic year.

Below are links to more information about the Project SEARCH model and its success throughout the country and in New Mexico:


Phone: 505-925-4260

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