DePaul Industries Blog

Joining Forces with Albertina Kerr & Others to Secure Employment Opportunities

March 28, 2012

Project SEARCH in action at ProvidenceWe’ve formed a new partnership with Albertina Kerr Centers, Port City Development Center, and Bethesda Lutheran Communities to expand the nationally-acclaimed Project SEARCH program in the Portland metro area. Our four organizations will combine resources to work together with large local businesses to improve employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Project SEARCH is a national workforce development program designed to simultaneously serve businesses and people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities through an innovative career development approach. Participants are hired directly by large businesses and, working side-by-side with non-disabled colleagues, are supported by an on-site Project SEARCH job coach who acts as a single point of contact for training and accommodation. In this setting, participants have shown to decrease turnover rates and increase morale. DePaul Industries began spearheading the program in Oregon and has established successful partnerships with The Standard, Providence Health & Services, and Oregon Health & Science University.

Erin Riehle, Co-Founder of Project SEARCH at the Cincinnati, OH Children’s Hospital in 1996, weighs in with her thoughts: “I am very excited about The Project SEARCH Partnership, as I believe that this will enable the organizations involved to take the next step in the growth and development of the program. I am very appreciative of DePaul Industries’ efforts in spearheading Project SEARCH and in establishing relationships with some of the most prestigious businesses in the area.”

Project SEARCH DePaul IndustriesWe’re excited for this collaboration particularly as an ideal methodology for Oregon’s ‘Employment First’ initiative, requiring that employment in integrated work settings be the priority option for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. The primary focus of the partnership, however, is on the business solutions that Project SEARCH provides—reducing turnover, stabilizing departments, and leveraging a dedicated, qualified workforce.

“The Project SEARCH Partnership will result in fulfilling, integrated jobs for people with developmental disabilities,” says Dave Shaffer, our President & CEO. “In turn, these jobs will produce positive business results—as they already have shown in our current sites.”

We are determined to do more. To learn more about growing your business through Project SEARCH, get in touch today.

Here’s more information about our partnering organizations:

    • Albertina Kerr Centers
      Every day Albertina Kerr helps children, families and adults living with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, empowering them to lead fuller, self-determined lives. A private non-profit organization founded in Portland in 1907, Kerr utilizes more than 91 cents of every dollar on programs and services for Oregonians. For more information about Albertina Kerr, call 503.239.8101 or visit

  •  Port City Development Center
    Since 1978, Port City Development Center has been providing employment, job training and support services for people with developmental disabilities in the Portland metro community. Its production, art and farming, job development, community volunteers, fabric arts, silk-screening, woodworking, custodial and other programs provide meaningful work, skills building and community integrations opportunities for individuals with disabilities. For more information on Port City Development Center, visit

  • Bethesda Lutheran Communities
    Bethesda Lutheran Communities provides resources to educate friends, families, congregations and other service providers about developmental disabilities. For more information on Bethesda Lutheran Communities, visit


  1. Wrote on July 29, 2013 @ 7:36 am

    It’s difficult to find experienced people for this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

    • Wrote on September 25, 2013 @ 10:16 am

      Thanks, Rodney! Let us know if we can offer any additional information.

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