Project SEARCH application window open, virtual open house scheduled

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Project SEARCH at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is recruiting interns for its 2022-2023 class. Virtual open houses will be held at 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Feb. 9. Applications are due April 1 and can be requested through high school guidance counselors.

Project SEARCH is an internship experience for students with mild and moderate special needs. The program was first established at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1996, and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is the first Project SEARCH site in the state.

Once accepted into the program, student interns report to Ruby Memorial Hospital instead of their home school district classroom for the entire school year. Student interns will rotate through a number of job roles at the hospital. Project SEARCH serves as the student interns’ capstone educational experience and often leads to employment once the internships are complete.

Project SEARCH is coordinated and hosted by WVU Medicine and supported by the West Virginia Department of Education. Together, in partnership with other community organizations, they will create a one-year immersion experience that combines classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.

Participating community organizations include:

For more information about Project SEARCH, how to apply, or how to participate in the virtual open house, contact Nick Lafferty, Project SEARCH instructor, at

In addition to the application, interested students must pass a skills assessment evaluation and be interviewed as part of the acceptance process.

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