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Project SEARCH

Photo of Project SEARCH Interns

“Project SEARCH Capital Area Region”: Project SEARCH Hilton – Capital Area Region (Formerly Embassy Suites—DC) is a one-year “school-to-work” transition program designed to prepare DCPS adult students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities for competitive employment. Project SEARCH Interns receive daily instruction in employability skills and gain hands-on work experiences by rotating among three 10-week unique paid internships at a one of four Hilton Worldwide host site locations. The goal for each student is competitive, integrated employment by the end of the experience.

Project SEARCH participants undergo three internship rotations within partnering hotel host sites. Training sites for PSCAR interns have included: Cambria Hotel Washington DC, Embassy Suites Convention Center DC, Capital Hilton, Doubletree Crystal City, Embassy Suites Crystal City, and Embassy Suites Georgetown. Through internship rotations, interns may have the opportunity to gain skills in, but are not limited to, the following areas: Front Office, Food and Beverage, Banquets, Engineering, Stewarding, Laundry, Concierge and/or Housekeeping.

Project SEARCH interns are supported by a Project SEARCH team consisting of the following: Project SEARCH Instructor (DC Public Schools), Job Coaches (SEEC), host site staff, Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist (Rehabilitation Services Administration), and off-site support staff. Through Project SEARCH, students are eligible for career counseling, job coaching, placement services and post-program support services with the District's Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Admissions Criteria

All interested candidates must:

  • Be enrolled as a DCPS student, ages 18-21, in their last year of HS. 
  • Have a documented intellectual or other developmental disability. 
  • Be on a Certificate pathway (non-diploma), as reflected in IEP Diploma Decision status, and have completed all compulsory education requirements, per a transcript review.
  • Agree to graduate at end of the program. 
  • Apply and be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services through RSA . 
  • Have a desire to work in the community.  
  • Have a minimum 80% attendance rate.
  • Be willing to take direction and follow a professional code of conduct.
  • Be willing to utilize public transportation independently (free travel training is provided).

Interested students are to complete an application and return their completed application to their school’s Workforce Development Coordinator or Project SEARCH staff. Eligible students will receive an invite for an interview. Those selected to proceed will then be invited to a Skills Assessment Day at the host site – selected participants will be notified following Skills Assessment Day. For more information about Project SEARCH or to learn more about the application process, please email [email protected]