Salem Launches Kerr's Innovative Internship Program

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Group of city of Salem interns

The City of Salem is the first employer in Marion County to adopt the Project SEARCH Program, providing job-training opportunities for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

​The City of Salem is excited to partner with Albertina Kerr to bring the Project SEARCH Program to our region. Project SEARCH is a nine-month internship for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities to gain real-life job skills training. The City of Salem is Kerr’s fourth Project SEARCH site in Oregon.

Today, eight individuals from our community began their internship, working alongside City of Salem employees who serve as skills trainers and mentors. While at the City of Salem, interns will learn key employability skills to ready them for the workforce and explore jobs in three City of Salem departments for 12 weeks each.

“City staff have truly embraced the program and the goal of fostering competitive, integrated employment for every program graduate. We are excited to extend our commitment to community service, learning, and working alongside our interns,” said Mina Hanssen, City of Salem Human Resources Director.

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Salem so residents of Marion County can have access to this life-changing program,” said Jeff Carr, CEO of Albertina Kerr. “Together we are breaking the barriers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face when seeking employment and creating more inclusivity in the workplace.”

Kerr also operates nine Group Homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Marion County area. Project SEARCH is an internationally recognized program in nine countries and 45 states, with over 500 sites. This employer-driven model began in 1996 as a single program site at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center. Information about Albertina Kerr and Project SEARCH is available online.

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Nicole MillerPublic Information ManagerUrban Development Department
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350 Commercial ST NE
Salem OR 97301
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