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McKenzie Sampson of Project SEARCH with driver license
A new job, her driver license and a big smile - McKenzie Sampson is a graduate of the Project SEARCH program and now employed by Marshall Medical.

Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 07:00 PM

Project SEARCH success: Four new jobs and one award

Only halfway through the current program, 4 interns already have jobs and the program instructor received Governor's Educator of the Year recognition.

Project SEARCH interns have worked hard during their rotations at Marshall Medical Centers this year – including learning CPR, banking and etiquette – and it has paid off.  One intern already has been hired by the hospital, and three others landed jobs in other companies. 

“We are extremely proud of this group of interns,” said Kira Galarza, job coach for Project SEARCH. “They have come so far and have exceeded our expectations.”

Intern Makenzie Sampson was hired to work in the housekeeping department at Marshall North. Environmental Services Supervisor Amanda Hopson said she was delighted to have Makenzie because she was a good worker during her rotation in the housekeeping department.

“I’m very excited,” Makenzie said in December. Her future got even brighter when she earned her driver’s license.

Community partners have been great contributors to interns’ training this year. An etiquette class was held at the downtown Guntersville restaurant Beatrice at the Glover, where interns were treated to lunch so they could practice what they learned. Also, People’s Bank delivered a class on the basics of banking. Training provided by the hospital included CPR training taught by Lisa Bearden, RN and director of education at Marshall North.

3 others have also joined the workforce

Other Project SEARCH interns hired so far this year are:
• Breanna Jackson, a Douglas High School graduate, is working at the Albertville Nursing Home. 
• Andy Murdock, an Asbury High School graduate, is employed at Prince Telecom in Albertville.
• Kaylyn Johnson, a graduate of Brindlee Mountain High School, was hired by Diversicare of Boaz. 

The remaining three interns will continue their rotations until graduation or until they are employed. 

In addition to Project SEARCH interns having a great year, Instructor Beth Hanner received the Governor’s Committee Award for Educator of the Year. 

Project SEARCH is an international program that targets students with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a goal of helping them become employable. This is the fourth year Marshall Medical Centers has participated in the program. 

Students work 10-week rotations during the school year in the hospitals’ housekeeping departments, cafeteria, day surgery, TherapyPlus gyms, maintenance and personal care assistance (PCA).