Berkeley Lab

Project Search

Project SEARCH was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It began in 1996, when the director felt that, because the hospital served individuals with developmental disabilities, it made sense that they should commit to hiring people in this group. She wondered if it would be possible to train people with developmental disabilities to fill some of the high- turnover, entry-level positions in her department, which involved complex and systematic tasks such as stocking supply cabinets. Since its inception, Project SEARCH has grown from a single program site at Cincinnati Children’s to a large and continuously expanding international network of sites. Project SEARCH’s primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities and provide internships, job placement and job coaching to the people they serve.

In the East Bay, Project SEARCH partners with East Bay Innovations (EBI) and Berkeley Lab has been working with both organizations since 2013. The first interns worked in Engineering, NERSC, Biosciences and HR. Three of the four interns were hired as permanent employees and still work at the Lab today.

Video: Learn more about the valued role that Project Search employees play in East Bay companies like Primus Power and La Clinica De La Raza.

East Bay Innovations provides:

  • Pool of qualified interns and potential employees
  • Job Coaching
  • Assistive tools and technology
  • Team responsive to your needs
  • Disability awareness training

Berkeley Lab provides:

  • Liaison to EBI (Kelly Johnson,Talent Outreach Program Manager)
  • Mentor (Supervisor)
  • Part-time internship paid for by the CA Department of Developmental Services
  • Consideration for permanent employment

How does it work?

  1. Divisions determine if they have entry-level positions that involve complex, but routine tasks such as administrative support, prepping or sterilizing lab equipment, inventory, lab technician, assembly technician, data entry, document filing, stocking etc.
  2. Contact Kelly Johnson, Talent Outreach Program Manager ( who will connect the division, HR Division Partner and EBI.
  3. Divisions review sample position descriptions with HR
  4. EBI meets with Division to complete task analysis
  5. EBI identifies candidate as the best fit for available internship
  6. EBI and Berkeley Lab Recruiter supports candidate during online application process, interview and clearances
  7. Candidate interviews with Berkeley Lab Hiring Manager, with help of Job Coach
  8. Job Coach will assist new employee during training and to become familiar with new responsibilities
  9. Candidates start as 50% part-time intern affiliates and are fully funded by the CA Department of Developmental Services.