Transitioning from school to the workplace can be tough for everyone, but young adults with special needs may face added challenges.
That’s where initiatives like Project Search come in.
Project Search is a global program aimed to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure competitive employment. About 500 companies across the world take on interns with special needs to provide real-life work experience and job training, as well as offer career coaches to help them find and maintain gainful employment following the 10-month program.
TD Bank in Mount Laurel welcomed its second class of interns from Burlington and Camden counties on Thursday. They will spend the next several months learning a variety of skills like writing emails, making phone calls, copying and scanning files, and working in various departments like loan processing, logistics, lock box and mobile services, according to Jaimi McWilliams, TD Bank Project Search instructor from the Camden County Educational Services Commission, which runs the program.
“They learn employable skills that they will take with them at a job here at TD or in the community,” McWilliams said.
TD Bank is one of six Project Search sites in New Jersey, and the only one in Burlington County. The other five sites are in hospitals, with the closest being Jefferson Health in Cherry Hill, Camden County, officials said.
The eight interns celebrated with their families and TD employees last week with a “signing ceremony,” during which they formally accepted the internship, and took a shuttle bus tour of the corporate campus on Horizon Way.