The Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST) and Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS) have been awarded a grant through the Monadnock United Way from the Citizens Bank United Way Community Development Fund. This grant will be used to support Project SEARCH, a new community-based vocational training program at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene designed for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Project SEARCH program is built on workplace immersion: participants receive skills training through a series of internships, and they become part of the hospital/clinic team, while receiving individualized training and job placement support. Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene, a project partner, will hold a pilot training class beginning January 2011 through the end of the school year in June. The next class will be a full school-year long, beginning in September 2011, ending in June 2012.

Each year, the Citizens Bank Foundation targets its funding to address community needs and works with all NH United Ways in locating the agencies that are making a difference. Local grants are awarded through the Monadnock United Way. This year’s focus is on programs that address financial stability in the areas of increasing income, building savings, and gaining and sustaining assets.

“We’re so pleased to receive this timely funding from the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Monadnock United Way,” explains Sheila Mahon, MCST Project Director. “Project SEARCH, with its focus on workforce development, particularly for citizens with developmental disabilities, was selected as an ideal program to receive this support.”

Project SEARCH partners are Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock-Keene, the Keene School District, Monadnock Developmental Services, Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions, and NH Vocational Rehabilitation. For more information on Project SEARCH, contact Sheila Mahon at 603-352-1304.