Internship Program Provides Work Skills Through On-the-job Training for Young Adults with Disabilities

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Shaw Industries, Inc. (Shaw) has announced the completion of its fourth Project SEARCH internship program, an intensive work skills developmental program designed to facilitate a successful post high school transition to the workforce for young adults with disabilities.

Shaw executives with 2016 Project Search graduates

Project SEARCH is one of the many ways we are helping to cultivate the workforce of tomorrow,” notes Paul Richard, vice president of human resources at Shaw.

Shaw Industries, Inc. (Shaw) has announced the completion of its fourth Project SEARCH internship program, an intensive work skills developmental program designed to facilitate a successful post high school transition to the workforce for young adults with disabilities.

The interns -- Megan Bandy, Caitlin Catania, Daniel Lopez and Josh Pastrana – completed the program with a greater ability to gain employment, and at graduation, three of the four participants had already secured jobs. Lopez and Pastrana accepted positions with Shaw, and Catania was hired by Health One Alliance as an office assistant.

The interns began the program in June and over the past nine months completed three 10-week rotations at Shaw in the marketing fulfillment, talent acquisition, and global sourcing departments. Participants experienced total workplace immersion, facilitating a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training.

Shaw departmental leadership and Cross Plains Community Partner job coaches focused on delivering key skills in the areas of team building, technology, social skills/communication, presentation delivery, money management, interviewing, resume building, job searching and retention, self-advocacy and determination.

“Project SEARCH is one of the many ways we are helping to cultivate the workforce of tomorrow,” notes Paul Richard, vice president of human resources at Shaw. “It’s part of our commitment to creating a better future for our communities, associates, customers and the company.”

Pastrana noted, “It has been a growing experience; we are not the same people you met at the beginning,” before thanking program participants for believing in and supporting the interns along the way.

Project SEARCH was created in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Since its inception, Project SEARCH has grown from a single program site at Cincinnati Children's to more than 300 sites across the United States and Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia. Project SEARCH's primary objective is to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities, and with its business partners, works to facilitate high school transition programs for individuals with various developmental disabilities, such as visual and hearing impairments, autism, and intellectual disabilities.

Shaw initiated its first Project SEARCH internship program in 2012. Shaw’s participation in Project SEARCH takes place through collaborative partnership with Cross Plains Community Partner, Project SEARCH, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. To learn more about Project SEARCH, visit http://projectsearch.us/.

About Shaw Industries
The world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floorcovering provider, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. is a vertically integrated manufacturer that supplies carpet, hardwood, laminate, resilient, tile & stone flooring products and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets worldwide. A wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. with more than $4.8 billion (USD) in annual sales and more than 22,000 associates, Shaw is headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, with salespeople and/or offices located throughout the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit shawinc.com.

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Sigele Winbush
HL Strategy
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