Project SEARCH class introduced at SCRMC

South Central Regional Medical Center and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, along with the Jones County and Laurel school districts, introduced the 2023-24 Project SEARCH class that is being hosted by SCRMC.

Students of the program include Jimena Martinez of West Jones, Zachary Evans of Laurel High, Conner Hurtt of Northeast Jones, Dailand Snow of West Jones and Dequandra White of Laurel High. Melanie Follis and Billy Jones are program instructors.

The program, which was started by the Department of Rehabilitation Services, is designed to help students with intellectual disabilities move into the workforce after high school. Project SEARCH SCRMC began in 2019.

This year, interns will work their way through rotations in different departments of SCRMC. Along with on-site job duties, interns are taught business etiquette, interview skills, personal presentation and participate in community service projects. While at SCRMC, the interns will assist in Admissions, Environmental Services, Food Services, Laboratory, Materials Management, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Wound Care and Nursing Units.

Project SEARCH is a national program designed to help students with disabilities obtain competitive community-based employment. The program is expanding to south Mississippi through a strategic collaboration of the state Department of Rehabilitation Services, SCRMC and the city and county school districts.

Project SEARCH SCRMC offers students from both school districts a 10-month internship position. That allows the students to work on employability and functional skills in several areas, including team-building, technology, communication, job search skills and money management.

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