Project SEARCH Application
Thank you for your interest in Project SEARCH! Project SEARCH is all about employment: We are an educational and vocational program where both the goal and the expectation is to seek a competitive job in the community. Everyone’s employment path is different; however, the following philosophies and principles are things we feel benefit everyone in their employment goals. These apply both to the internships we provide at Project SEARCH, and to employment possibilities.
We ask our interns to have an “employment first” mindset
This means that you treat employment as a priority, and not as a secondary goal. Many employment opportunities may require schedule changes and flexibility; too much focus on extracurricular activities may prevent you from pursuing good opportunities and can prolong your search for employment.
We ask our interns to respect the employment process
It is both good and advisable to have long term goals about where you would like to work, and what kind of work you would like to be doing. However, it is also important to have realistic short-term goals about employment as well. Some people are fortunate in their employment search and get a job very quickly that they know they want to continue doing for a long time. For others, their first opportunity may not be a job that meet all of their long-term goals: that does not mean that their first job isn’t a step towards those goals. Every year of successful employment helps you meet your goals, and every job possibility should be taken seriously.
The commitment to employment never ends
Employment is a process where you are always actively improving yourself and working towards your goals. In Project SEARCH, we will spend nine months in internship rotations. During those internships, it is important to respect your internship position to the same degree you would a paying job. Some intern’s secure community employment during the Project SEARCH year, or right afterwards. For others, it may take longer. As a seeker of employment, your responsibility of being an active participant in your employment goals apply both to the Project SEARCH program year itself, and to the time needed afterwards. After securing employment, it is important to remain committed to your job and put into practice the skills you have learned during Project SEARCH.
Program Entrance Criteria
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a resident of Johnson County, Kansas
- Meet eligibility requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Meet CDDO (Community Developmental Disability Organization) eligibility requirements
- Have independent daily living skills including being able to self-administer medications
- Maintain appropriate behavior and social skills in the workplace
- Take direction from supervisors and change behavior
- Be able to communicate effectively
- Be able to pass drug screen and background check
- Have the desire and plan to work competitively in the community in the Johnson County area at the conclusion of the Project SEARCH program
Please Note: All required documents must be completed and turned in for the application to be considered. Some of the materials can be completed electronically using the links below. Materials can also be scanned and emailed to ProjectSEARCH@jocogov.org or be mailed in to or handed in at the Mark D. Elmore Center at 10501 Lackman Rd., Lenexa, KS 66061.
- Project SEARCH Application - can be completed online (Application)
- Intern Self-Preparation Assessment - can be completed online (Self-Assessment)
- This is for the applicant to complete, with assistance if needed
- Support Staff/Parent Preparation Assessment - can be completed online (Parent/Support Assessment)
- This should be completed by someone who knows the applicant well
- Copy of current state ID or driver’s license
- In under 22 years of age: Most recent Individual Education Plan
- If receiving HCBS Services: Person Centered Support Plan
- If available: information from any formal training programs or career assessments, and a resume.
Important Dates for 2024-25 Program
- Feb. 29, 2024: Application Deadline
- We accept late application materials. Candidates who get their materials in on time are considered first.
- March 22, 2024: Assessment and Interview Day
- April 2024: Receive notification of selection status
- Aug. 12, 2024: Project SEARCH starts
- Aug. 12-30, 2024: Orientation
- Sept. 2, 2024: Labor Day (program closed)
- Sept. 3, 2024: First rotation starts
- Nov. 15, 2024: First internship ends
- Nov. 11, 2024: Veterans Day (program closed)
- Nov. 18-22, 2024: Transition Week 1
- Nov. 25-29, 2024: Thanksgiving Break (program closed)
- Dec. 2, 2024: Second internship starts
- Dec. 23-27, 2024: Winter Break (program closed)
- Jan. 1, 2025: New Year's Day (program closed)
- Jan. 20, 2025: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (program closed)
- Feb. 14, 2025: Second internship ends
- Feb. 17-21, 2025: Transition Week 2
- Feb. 25, 2025: Third internship begins
- March 10-14, 2025: Spring Break (program closed)
- May 16, 2025: Third internship / Project SEARCH ends
- May 17, 2025: Project SEARCH Graduation
We have two host business sites at Johnson County Project SEARCH. When you are accepted into Project SEARCH, you will be placed into one of these two businesses.
The placement is determined by the information provided in your application, the results of your assessment day and the needs of the host businesses. Each host business site has access to many of the same types of opportunities and skills.
Johnson County Administration Building
The Johnson County Administration Building is located at 111 South Cherry St. Olathe, KS.
Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center
The Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center is located at 6100 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS.
If accepted to Project SEARCH:
Please invite Project SEARCH staff to BASIS and Person-Centered Planning Meetings. The candidate may be required to do a criminal background check and drug screen. Participation in the program is dependent on the ability to successfully pass these screenings.
Additionally, a medical screening may be required before starting at some internships. Participation in such internships is dependent on the ability to successfully pass necessary screenings.
Enrolling in Vocational Rehabilitation is a requirement of participation. We recommend selecting Johnson County Developmental Supports as the provider of employment services, but this is not required.
Please Note: The Selection Committee may include representatives from Johnson County Government, Johnson County Developmental Supports, the CDDO, Johnson County Community College, Sunflower Health Plan, Olathe Public Schools USD 233, Workforce Partnership, and the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center.