Project Search launches

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) - RAMP, Mercyhealth and several stateline school districts launched Project Search Wednesday.

The program is a one year long internship for students with disabilities at Mercyhealth's Rockton Avenue location.

The high school students are given a task like cleaning a hospital room or helping to prep an operating room. They're taught skills that can easily transfer to any future job.

Each student is given the opportunity to participate in three internships to explore a variety of career paths.

"We don't really call them students here, we call them workers, they are partners. That's what Mercyhealth's philosophy is. Everybody is partners here to help people. I hold them to the same standards that I would of any co-workers here," says Project Search instructor Nathan Loft.

Right now, there are 12 students in the program. RAMP is hoping to partner with industrial companies in addition to Mercyhealth.