At Duncan Aviation hanger in Battle Creek, student interns are learning aviation skills with Project Search.
Six interns are working with the one year program for recent high school graduates with disabilities. They receive job training while they work a team, classroom instruction on how to find a job, and then follow up services to handle later issues and keep them employed.
Interns graduate with new confidence, as well as skills. “It’s a great program. Like I said, you learn a lot from this. A lot of things that you wouldn’t learn in a class, really. Best way to learn is by hands-on,” said Monte, a student who loves to work on airplanes.
Project Search initially began in Cincinnati, and spread internationally. Each site is locally run. The Calhoun County project is a collaboration between Duncan Aviation and the Calhoun Intermediate School District and Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Summit Pointe.
Project Search instructor Sheila Ritsema said that several sites were considered, however the company culture at Duncan made it a stand out. Most sites are at hospitals, and having at site at Duncan gave a chance to have a different skill set.