RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A program here in New Mexico is helping recent high school graduates with disabilities transition into the workforce. There are seven school districts involved in “Project Search” with eight different workplace sites. Students from Rio Rancho Public Schools work alongside Rust Presbyterian Hospital.

Rust has eight interns that rotate through all of the job placements in the hospital until May of 2023.”They get the experience to work in the EVC department, they do patient transportation, they do security, and those are just some of the areas that they can work in,” said Hotona Secatero, the vocational rehabilitation counselor with the New Mexico Department of Vocational Rehab.

20-year-old Edward Nickson’s last rotation was in the kitchen at Rust, a passion he had in high school too. “I learned new tasks than what I did at the high school,” said Nickson. Once the internship is over Nickson wants to continue in the food industry.

In May, a new set of interns will get matched with Rust and will start their rotation in August. If your school district would like to get involved with Project Search you can find more information here.