VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana is set to become the first installation to host high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for internships and on-the-job training.
Titled “Project SEARCH,” NAS Oceana kicked of the program Friday. Senior Chief Air Traffic Controller Amber Khoryati at the installation says the program is aimed to give students competitive employment opportunities within the community.
“This program provides an opportunity for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to transition from high school into an internship, where the skills they learn will provide the interns what they need to find competitive employment in the market.”
Project Search is a collaborative effort between Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Virginia Department of Education, Didlake, Inc., and Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center
The program has already selected 9 military-connected interns who will be working with the Navy Exchange, the Navy MWR, the NAS Oceana Commissary, and the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites for 10 months
“This program is ground-breaking for NAS Oceana, and for the military as a whole, as it supports our military families and provides pathways to building children’s future independence,” said NAS Oceana Commanding Officer Capt. Bob Holmes.