Partnership Among County, School District & SC Vocational Rehabilitation
Berkeley County Government has received two top awards in connection to its unique programs that employ people with disabilities. The Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities named the County the 2020-2021 Large Employer of the Year. In addition, the Summerville Mayor’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities named the County Employer of the Year for 2021. Both awards were recognized at the County Council meeting on Monday, May 23. Watch the full meeting video HERE.
South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation nominated the County for both awards. Vocational Rehabilitation provides services to individuals who are experiencing barriers to employment and helps them gain the skills, training and credentials necessary for employment across the state. The County partners with this agency to both employ and offer temporary internships to individuals with disabilities.
Berkeley County also works with high school seniors and young adults with disabilities through its award-winning and highly successful Project SEARCH program. This program—which is a partnership among the County, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Berkeley County School District—prepares young people with disabilities for success in employment opportunities. Throughout the school year, these students work in different departments at Berkeley County Government and develop skills and training to prepare them for future jobs. Project SEARCH started in the County in 2017 and is gaining strength every year.
The 2021-22 Project SEARCH class had four students graduate on May 19. Each student has already secured employment.
“This recognition is a result of the partnership between Berkeley County, S.C. Vocational Rehabilitation, and Berkeley County School District to offer a program and career opportunities for exceptional individuals in our community. I’d also like to thank our County employees for their passion and commitment for this program and initiative. On behalf of County Council and our valued partners, I’d like to congratulate the graduates of our latest Project SEARCH class and give a special thanks to all the businesses and industries for providing job opportunities for ALL.” -County Supervisor Johnny Cribb