LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A nationwide program designed to help students with disabilities get valuable job training is making a difference here in Southwest Florida. The program not only benefits students -- but the place where they are learning on the job.
Dennis Perry is one of the students benefiting from a new program called "Project Search", which uses real life work experience to help those with significant disabilities make a smooth transition to a productive adult life.
"It's a really good opportunity to be in this program, it really is" says Perry. "I feel good being here at Project search, I'm learning a lot. If It wasn't for Project Search I would have never been able to work in the hospital" Perry adds.
Eight Lee County students are taking part in the one year program which places them in roles with in the Lee Memorial Health System. They have students in multiple departments, including the NICU, pediatric sedation, transport services, guest services, environmental services and food services.
But it's not just the students who are benefiting from this inclusion in the workplace. "We get so much more back from the joy that they bring to the work environment, and it is a win-win for everybody" says a worker from Lee Health Systems.
Good Wheels provides free transportation to each of the students participating in the program.