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Piedmont Athens Regional Celebrates First Project SEARCH Graduating Class

Athens, Ga. (June 3, 2024) – Around the country, many families and friends are celebrating graduations, and on May 24, Piedmont Athens Regional joined in the celebrations, recognizing and honoring its first graduating class of eight Project SEARCH interns. Three of the program’s interns have accepted full- or part-time positions at Piedmont Athens.

“I am very proud of these graduates, and I know that they are going to go on to make a big impact in the workforce,” said Michael Burnett, Piedmont Athens Regional CEO. “They have worked really hard and been such valuable members of our team. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next in their professional lives.”

Piedmont Athens Regional, in partnership with Hi-Hope Center, launched Project SEARCH in August 2023, an internship program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Throughout the nine-month program, the interns explore different career paths within healthcare and acquire transferrable job skills while also gaining valuable experience for their resume. The interns worked in various hospital departments, including BioMed Engineering, Dietary, Environmental Services, Supply Chain, Central Sterile, the Outpatient Surgery Center, Patient Experience, the Gift Shop, and the Laboratory.

In addition to working within the departments, Project SEARCH maintains an onsite classroom at Piedmont Athens where the interns learn how to complete applications, build a resume, and practice interviewing techniques. The program hopes to welcome 10 new interns next year.

Project SEARCH began in 1996 and is now partnered with more than 500 organizations, including multiple Piedmont entities. To learn more about Project SEARCH, visit

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