Seven students have graduated from UPMC Hamot’s Project Search program after having the opportunity to explore various career paths.

The graduates are now preparing to move into the next phase of their career after receiving hands-on training from staff members of the hospital.

Seven graduates were being recognized for their completion of UPMC Hamot’s Project Search. The president of Hamot said the program caters to a unique group of people.

“Project Search is a program for students that may have some emotional or intellectual challenges and the program is catered to educating the students in a way that they’re able to connect and grow,” said David Gibbons, president of UPMC Hamot.

He said the program provides students with hands-on training.

“Their classroom is at Hamot throughout the school year and the morning is spent in classroom, the afternoon is spent shadowing and learning different positions and they have rotations,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons said the program teaches students more than just workforce development skills.

Two students that we spoke with say they learned skills in the program that will help them excel in their careers.

“I learned how feed patients how to take care of them I learned how to trade paths, I learned how to serve people in the kitchen and that was like a big thing in my job here was awesome,” said Emily Schutz, a Project Search graduate.

“I do the first doses of the XR2A and I only do the large oil sauce, we’ve been changing that since December, and then I do Accudose first and second shifts and so forth,” said Ryan Hewitt, a fellow Project Search graduate.

As the graduates turn the page, Schutz said she would recommend the program to anyone as friends have now become family.

“Today is my last day here and I made a family and I’m going to be sad to leave them,” Schutz stated.

Gibbons said a new class will begin receiving instruction in August.