Originally Published by TD Bank.
TD is proud to announce its second annual partnership with Project SEARCH, a one-year transition program that provides talented high school students with intellectual or developmental diverse abilities from Cherry Hill, Lenape Regional and Camden City School Districts with on-the-job training through 10-month internships. Project SEARCH reflects a dynamic partnership with Camden County Educational Services Commission, the Employment Network Team of New Jersey, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
On Sept. 6, TD Bank welcomed eight members of the 2019 graduating class of Project SEARCH to its Mt. Laurel offices with the goal of providing total workplace immersion during the school year. Each intern will engage in 10-week rotations through three different departments at TD, developing valuable work-readiness skills that could lead to full-time employment at TD or another local business. Over the course of the school year, students will acquire on-site training and support from Project SEARCH staff and coworkers, concluding each day with problem-solving, journaling, and reflections on their key learnings. TD plans to expand Project SEARCH across its Maine to Florida footprint, where available, next year.
“With proper support, young people with disabilities can build a lifetime of accomplishments,” said Daniel Del Vecchio, Superintendent of the Camden County Educational Services Commission. “In some cases, they outperform their non-disabled peers. We’re grateful that TD Bank and our community partners are committed to providing our students with hands-on learning experiences that will help them lead independent and rewarding lives.”
This program grows out of TD’s Ready Commitment platform, which seeks to maximize the Bank’s impact by expanding financial security and building connected communities that enable all people to succeed with confidence in a changing world. Given that the unemployment rate for people with diverse abilities is twice that of those without diverse abilities, this program represents a vital step toward achieving business inclusion and equality for people of all abilities.
“Through our partnership with Project SEARCH, we are expanding our pool of top talent, enhancing TD’s culture of inclusion, and empowering people of all abilities to fulfill their professional potential,” said Kelley Cornish, Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Diversity and Inclusion. “We’re confident that programs like Project SEARCH will help us create a more inclusive tomorrow for people of all abilities at TD and beyond.”