An employment training programs for adults, 18-24 years old, with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Competitive Employability Readiness Training
CERT Academy focuses on student attainment of competitive, marketable, and transferable job skills. Two educational programs within the academy, Project SEARCH and CERT Culinary, offer career exploration in a variety of entry-level positions. Small class sizes, along with on-site teachers and skills trainers, provide students hands-on training and caring support.
Academy Program Requirements
Students make a formal application to the program and interview with a selection committee. Minimum program requirements include:
- Have a desire to obtain employment upon completion of the program
- High School Graduate
- 18-24 years old; cannot turn 25 during the program
- Have a diagnosed disability
- Current client of or eligible for Department of Rehabilitation Services
- Have ability to work independently for up to 5 hours
- Be able to take direction from instructors, supervisor, and mentor
- Be able to communicate effectively
- Have appropriate personal hygiene and social skills
- Have transportation to program and intern sites
Developed by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Project SEARCH™ is a nine-month, unpaid internship that provides transition-to-work career training opportunities for adults with disabilities.
Students work within various departments at the host business, Saint Francis Health Systems, learning skills aimed toward gaining competitive employment. Partners include the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitations Services and OU Outreach, provide comprehensive training and support for students within the program.
Key Concepts of Project SEARCH for Students
- Students complete “Employability Skills” Training
- Students complete three 10-week unpaid internships at the host business
- Gain increased independence, confidence, & self-esteem
- Practice in interviewing, feedback and assessment with Project SEARCH and host business staff
- Placement in a competitive job to match skills and interests
- Gain successful independent community employment