MSU initiates school-to-work program aimed at youth with disabilities


EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University has initiated an internship program that aims to help young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities prepare for the workplace.

The project, called Spartan Project SEARCH, kicks off Wednesday, October 5, at MSU’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at 9:00 p.m. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley are expect speak.

Under the program, 10 students get on-the-job support as interns in offices, residence halls, cafes, doctor’s offices and animal clinics. Each of the interns, who come from school districts in Ingham County, will be paired with an undergraduate student.

Michigan State is one of 12 host sites to begin offering Project SEARCH programs in Michigan this year.

MSU statistics show nearly 80% of young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down Syndrome or Autism, are unemployed.

Program co-directors Marisa Fisher and Connie Sung say most rely heavily on caregivers after finishing high school.

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