Job Placement Program Receives $ 60,000 to Train and Place People with Disabilities

One of Six National Programs in the Country to be Chosen for Grant

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CINCINNATI -- Project SEARCH, based at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has been awarded a three-year $60,000 renewal grant, to continue its successful model of training and placing young people with severe cognitive disabilities in careers in the health care and banking industries.

Project SEARCH provides employment and education opportunities for individuals with significant barriers to employment, such as people with disabilities, those on public assistance and the working poor. The program is dedicated to workforce development that benefits the individual, community and workplace. Project SEARCH is a collaborative effort among the Division of Disability Services at Cincinnati Children's, Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, and the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The grant was awarded by Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF). Project SEARCH was chosen as one of six national projects awarded a sum of over $500,000 in new and renewal grants to serve young people with disabilities.

"Our continued partnership with MEAF will help us spread the word about Project SEARCH nationwide," said Erin Riehle, MSN, RN, director and co-founder of Project SEARCH. "This is a priority for us because it broadens the impact of our program and means that more people with disabilities can improve their quality of life through meaningful employment."

The MEAF is dedicated to helping young people with disabilities maximize their potential and full participation in society. With its new round of grants, the Foundation is building on its Inclusive Initiative begun two years ago. The Initiative focuses on helping "mainstream" programs, such as Project SEARCH, make their programs more accommodating of and attractive to disabled youth, while working to change attitudes among people without disabilities.

"As the Foundation embarks on its 15th year," says Rayna Aylward, executive director of the MEAF, "we believe that proactive inclusion is one of the best ways to ensure that youth with disabilities can reach their full potential and realize their dreams. Our goal is to help organizations move away from the practice of having separate activities for youth with disabilities toward a model of activities that are open to all young people, making for a richer experience and stronger program overall."

The MEAF, based in the Washington, DC area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan and the Mitsubishi Electric U.S. companies, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. With a current endowment of $19 million, the Foundation has contributed more than $7 million to organizations assisting young Americans with disabilities to lead fuller and more productive lives. For more information, please visit the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation's fully accessible web site at

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Amy Caruso,, 513-636-5637