Helping young adults with disabilities grow the skills they need to get meaningful jobs in their communities
At Westfield, we are proud of our legacy of caring and the dedicated way we conduct our business. Whether enabling our customers’ peace of mind or preparing an event to remember, we work together to create meaningful experiences for our customers, agency partners, employees and the communities where we live and work.
And, thanks to our partnership with Project SEARCH, Westfield provides meaningful experiences for high school seniors with disabilities. Together we are making a difference through a joint program between Project SEARCH, Westfield, Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Oakleaf Partners (UCP of Greater Cleveland), Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Educational Service Center of Medina County.
About the Program
Project SEARCH is an international school-to-work transition program for high school seniors with disabilities. After completing their academic requirements in a traditional high school setting, the Project SEARCH model allows interns to spend their final year of high school at a host work site, completing three 10-week internships in a competitive employment setting in addition to classroom curriculum around independent living, personal finance and employability skills. The end goal for each student intern is to build a resume of transferrable skills and experiences that will help them find competitive employment in the community after graduating from the program.
Project SEARCH at Westfield
Westfield is proud to host a Project SEARCH site. There are over 400 Project SEARCH sites around the world and Westfield is the first site in Medina County, Ohio. Each August, a new group of interns from Medina County high schools begin Project SEARCH at Westfield.
"My internship made me more responsible and helped me get a job so I can make my own money." - Project SEARCH graduate
Westfield’s program found its origins exclusively in Hospitality but has grown to include a wide variety of internships including:
- Cart Barn
- Event Attendant
- Facilities Management
- Food Service
- Inn Laundry & Housekeeping
- Insurance Policy Processing
- Groundskeeping & Horticulture
- Human Resources
- Underwriting Office
With each new class comes important growth experiences for the participating interns and infinite new opportunities for Westfield and our employees to engage in, learn, and benefit from this important initiative.
This program aligns with and makes significant strides in our corporate goal of developing a diverse team of talented and engaged people.
“[My child] has grown from an insecure teenager to a responsible young adult, and all the credit goes to Project SEARCH” – Parent of Project SEARCH Graduate
Commitment to Community
Westfield’s commitment to Project SEARCH complements the Westfield Foundation’s family stability initiative, which focuses on reducing barriers to success.