Leesburg, Virginia, December 2018 … The National Conference Center Project SEARCH team has won the prestigious “Employment Outcome Award” from the Project SEARCH headquarters in Cincinnati.
Project SEARCH recognized the team at The National for their employment record this past year. Out of the ten students in the past graduating class, nine were offered positions in the community. Project SEARCH recognizes program sites that have achieved 70% to 100% competitive employment for all participants in a given program year. The awardees were recognized at a formal awards ceremony at the Project SEARCH International Conference, where 196 program sites from 34 states and 3 countries were recognized. Didlake, a not-for-profit providing opportunities for people with disabilities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, serves as the Community Rehabilitation Partner for Project SEARCH at The National Conference Center.
“Every single manager and employee on our team enjoys teaching and mentoring these students,” says Geoff Lawson, Vice President & General Manager for The National. “They are smart, capable and fun to be around. We are proud to receive this award and will continue with this program in the future. We encourage other businesses to do the same.”
Mr. Lawson worked closely with the Loudoun County Public Schools to bring Project SEARCH to The National three years ago. Each year The National takes 10 students for 10 months and rotates them through different departments throughout the property. Each student works 10 weeks in one of several departments ─ culinary, maintenance, IT, grounds-keeping, housekeeping, front desk and events.
When the team at The National was asked about participating in this program, they were willing and eager to work with Project SEARCH. Team members say that they have learned more from the students than the students have learned from them. It’s been a win-win partnership.
“Thank you to everyone at The National for your support in each of your roles. We couldn't do it without each and every one of you,” said Heather Brewington, M. Ed., Transition Teacher with Loudoun County Public Schools. “A special shout out to Emily Meyers, Employment Specialist with Didlake Inc., for her excellent effort in the community.”
For more information about The National Conference Center’s awards and honors, click here.
Image details: Emily Meyers, Employment Specialist, Didlake Inc. accepts the Project SEARCH “Employment Outcome Award” along with Geoff Lawson, Vice President & General Manager, at The National Conference Center. Project SEARCH participants and team members are included in the photo.