Forrest General welcomes 5th Project SEARCH class

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest General Hospital is now in its fifth year of Project SEARCH training.

The program was started by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services and helps prepare local high students with intellectual disabilities to enter the workforce after graduating.

This year, the program welcomed six students from the Petal, Hattiesburg and Lamar County (Oak Grove) school districts.

Those students work in food and nutrition (food prep and cleaning cafeteria tables), same-day surgery, patient transport, radiology, pharmacy and health information management and dialysis.

“They’ve done all their school training academic-wise, but here we’re still doing a little academics but mainly hitting all of those job skills to get them hired,” said instructor Heather Reid. “With experience, we can put them above their regular peers and have them hired in a position as soon as they graduate.”

The program lasts the entire school year.

Students are picked up from their schools in the morning and brought to the hospital, where they work until around 1:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the program’s Facebook page.

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