YMCA Jerry McCaw Family Centre in Sarnia June 28, 2019 Photo by Melanie IrwinYMCA Jerry McCaw Family Centre in Sarnia June 28, 2019 Photo by Melanie Irwin

Open house to be held for first 'Project Search' program in Sarnia-Lambton

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board (SCCDSB) will highlight its new transition-to-work program during an open house, scheduled to take place in Sarnia on Tuesday.

The program, Project Search, provides students with communication, intellectual, or physical disabilities (from 18 to 21 years old) opportunities to enter the workforce after high school.

SCCDSB Principal of Special Education Jennifer Morrow said while Project Search has been running internationally for some time, this is the first time it will be offered in Sarnia-Lambton.

"We were able to apply to the Ministry of Education for a grant to explore the possibility," she said.

Morrow said the 10-month program is meant for students who are in their final year of high school and will focus on life skills development, social skills development, and job skills.

"We're partnered with the YMCA as well as Goodwill," Morrow said. "So Goodwill Industries in Sarnia-Lambton will provide a skills trainer on-site and the [Jerry McCaw Family Centre] YMCA is providing, not only the physical space to hold the program but also the internships or the job experience on-site throughout the school year."

Morrow said internship rotations at the YMCA will vary from customer service, pool maintenance, child care services, and laundry services. Under the program, students will also receive classroom instruction and individualized job development.

Morrow said at this time, they're unsure how many people will be interested in the program as registrations are still being accepted. Enrollment is open to students within the SCCDSB and Lambton Kent District School Board.

"We're hoping that some people may just drop in [to the open house] without having formally registered but the more the merrier," Morrow said. "We certainly want to spread the message and recruit as many students as we can. So the more parents we have in attendance, or even teachers from any of our secondary schools, we're happy to have them join us."

The open house will be held from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Jerry McCaw Centre on Finch Drive.

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