Project Search

Des Moines Area Community College and Easter Seals Iowa have partnered together to bring Project SEARCH to the Ankeny area. This collaborative effort was initiated in the spring of 2013, and currently involves eight individuals who are interning at Des Moines Area Community College Campus in Ankeny. These interns are being provided a range of hands-on job experiences; developing work skills necessary for future employment.

DMACC Project SEARCH offers individuals, 18-35 years old, a nine-month job training program that takes place entirely at the DMACC Ankeny Campus. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training obtained through three strategically designed internships around campus. The skills gained while participating in internships will benefit each intern with obtaining competitive employment in the community upon completion of the program.

The national Project SEARCH program began in 1996 by Erin Reihle, Director of the Emergency Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. Erin had a number of entry level positions to fill and worked with the Great Oaks Career Campuses and the Hamilton County Board of Developmental Disability Services to provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to participate in the workplace.

The program was so successful that the model was adopted in 40 states and four countries around the world, including Northwestern University in Evanston, University of Arizona, and Kansas State University. Along with Educational host sites, Project SEARCH programs take place in hospitals, banks, insurance agencies, grocery stores and government agencies.


Contact Project Search Representatives

Raven Fjelland
Project SEARCH Manager
Easter Seals Iowa

Chris Miller
Job Coach
Easter Seals Iowa

Sharon Bittner
Program Development Director
Project SEARCH Liaison
Des Moines Area Community College