Find and retain fulfilling employment with help from the team at The Arc of East Central Iowa.

Our Project SEARCH and Supported Employment Services programs prepare people with disabilities to thrive in the workplace.

Your Job Coach

When you participate in employment support programs at The Arc, you’ll partner with a dedicated job coach. Your coach supports your success by helping you:

  • Build skills for a specific job, successful work habits, and socialization and communication skills
  • Adjust to a new job
  • Access any assistance you need to maintain employment and thrive in your new role

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH can help you or a loved one build skills to succeed on the job if you:

  • Are age 18 to 30
  • Have a developmental or intellectual disability
  • Have graduated from high school or have a GED

During the program, you’ll benefit from nine months of classroom instruction and workplace internships. You will:

  • Learn and practice real-world skills
  • Increase independence, confidence, and self-esteem
  • Make professional relationships and friendships
  • Receive individualized coaching and feedback every day
  • Search for and apply for secure employment in non-traditional jobs for people with disabilities

The vocational rehabilitation program in Iowa receives 78.7% of its funds through a grant from the US Department of Education. The total amount of grant funds awarded is $29,923,186 for FY2022. The remaining 21.3% of the costs are funded by state appropriations and other non-federal allowable sources.

Daily Schedule

With a group of up to 12 program participants, your day will typically follow this structure:

  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. – Classroom instruction in employability and independent living skills
  • 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Unpaid internships at UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital where you will get to try out a variety of different jobs
  • 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. – Daily recap

Project SEARCH interns complete three different workplace rotations over the course of the program.

Apply Today

Download and complete an application packet [PDF]. For more information about the program, or to read testimonials from participants, view our Project SEARCH brochure [PDF].

About the Program

The program is provided by The Arc of East Central Iowa in partnership with UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Supported Employment Services

Get assistance from The Arc’s Supported Employment Services program to choose an employment opportunity that matches your goals and preferences.

Take part in an approach where your choices are supported and our friendly staff help you or your loved one:

  • Focus on your strengths
  • Choose the right job for you
  • Maintain employment in an integrated community employment setting

The program includes:

  • Assessment services, where you share information about your interests, skills, and preferences for a job, so you can make an informed choice about the type of work you want to do
  • Job shadowing in different workplace settings
  • Paid, three- to four-hour workplace readiness assessments with a potential employer for four to five days to determine if you want a certain job and if you’re a good candidate for the role
  • Optional work adjustment training to identify and overcome barriers
  • Transportation training to learn public transportation to get to and from work independently

Learn More

For more information, download our Supported Employment Brochure [PDF].

About the Program

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. View the full USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

Contact Us

Call 319-365-0487 to learn more about Project SEARCH and Supported Employment Services at The Arc.