News Release
Posted by The MolinaCares Accord

Project SEARCH Celebrates Graduates of Workplace Training Program

Molina Healthcare of Texas:  Rhonda Frazier,, 562-980-3849

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa – Alamo Heights Hospital: Sherry Fraser,, 210-897-1079

North East Independent School District: Lorena Adkins,, 210-407-0267

Professional Contract Services, Inc.:  Pat Rodriguez,, 512-587-6076

Alamo Area Council of Governments: Diana Chavarria,, 210-362-5200

Texas Workforce Commission – Vocational Rehabilitation Services:  Leigh Ann Godinez,, 512-720-8347

Funded by valued community partners, training program supports Texans with disabilities

SAN ANTONIO, Tex., May 31, 2024 – Project SEARCH recently held a special graduation ceremony in recognition of four young people who completed a nine–month workplace training program. 

The program, made possible through grants from The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of TexasCHRISTUS Santa Rosa – Alamo Heights HospitalNorth East Independent School District (ISD)Professional Contract Services Inc.Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), and Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) – Vocational Rehabilitation Services, helps secure meaningful, integrated community employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The Project SEARCH model is currently in operation at 711 program sites in the U.S. and around the world and has served approximately 43,000 young people with disabilities since 2010. 

“We’re proud to work with Project SEARCH to help young Texans develop the skills to achieve a more prosperous future,” said Edward Serna, TWC executive director. “I extend my congratulations to the graduates of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital Project SEARCH site. Their hard work shows they are well-equipped for promising careers.”

“Our CHRISTUS Children’s Hospital has always been dedicated to this cause, and we felt this alignment would be important to further advance our mission,” said Sherry Fraser, president of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa – Alamo Heights Hospital. “It has been incredible to see the evolution of these Project SEARCH interns over this school year.” 

The collaboration has given hospital associates the opportunity to mentor program participants. One of the participants interning at the hospital said, “Coming here makes me feel like I am important and my work matters.” 

“Our partnership with Project SEARCH has empowered our students and given them real-world experiences,” said Lorena Adkins, director of special education, of North East Independent School District. “The staff and mentors have deeply contributed to their lives and have worked diligently to expand their post-secondary pathways.”

The partnership also helps to fast-track services for the participants that could otherwise take years, according to Diana Chavarria, IDDS program coordinator, of Alamo Area Council of Governments.   

“Before they begin their internship, they meet with our intake division representatives, who help expedite their diagnostic evaluation to determine if the individual has an intellectual or developmental disability,” said Chavarria. “The results of the evaluation are essential in assisting them in obtaining the services and supports they need to be successful not only with future employment but in life.”

An estimated 70% of Project SEARCH graduates achieve competitive, integrated employment, earning at least the minimum wage and working at least 16 hours per week.

“At Molina Healthcare, we are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals across the state,” said Chris Coffey, plan president at Molina Healthcare of Texas. “We are grateful to partner with Project SEARCH in making a positive impact in the recipients’ lives and helping them achieve a future in which they can thrive.”

About Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is an innovative, business-led, school-to-work international model that features partnerships among businesses, local independent school districts, employment service providers, Local IDD Authorities and other entities that serve students with disabilities. Project SEARCH promotes the successful long-term employment of students with disabilities in jobs that are stable, meaningful, integrated, and competitively compensated. Project SEARCH was initially developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1996 and has grown to over 711 programs across 48 states and 10 countries.

About Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services 

About Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services partners with Project SEARCH to place students with disabilities into work-experience opportunities. Texas hosts 30 Project SEARCH sites current with expansions planned in the coming years. To find out if you have a Project SEARCH program in your area, reach out to your student’s school or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

About The MolinaCares Accord

Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

About Molina Healthcare of Texas 

Molina Healthcare of Texas has been providing government-funded health care since 2006. The Company serves members through Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Health Insurance Exchange programs, with service areas across Texas Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, provides managed health care services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through state insurance marketplaces. For more information about Molina Healthcare of Texas, visit

About Alamo Area Council of Governments

Defined as a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) was established in 1967 under Chapter 391 of the Local Government Code as a voluntary association of local governments and organizations that serves its members through planning, information, and coordination activities. Comprising the area planning region are Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, McMullen, Medina, and Wilson counties.

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