Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH Mississippi is administered by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services and is a joint partnership between MDRS, a business, and a school district.

What is Project SEARCH?

The Project SEARCH Program is a unique, business-led, nine-month employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Up to 12 students with disabilities experience total workplace immersion, classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through three different worksite rotations. The goal for each participant is competitive employment. To reach that goal, the program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people with significant disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life.

Project SEARCH Mississippi Success

141 individuals with disabilities have graduated from Project SEARCH Mississippi since Project SEARCH UMMC launched in August 2018.  97 of those individuals have gained employment. The job search continues for graduates. 73 interns will be participating in Project SEARCH across the state and will graduate in May, 2023.

What does a Good Project SEARCH Candidate Look Like?

  • Must have a strong desire to work.
  • Meet all their high school credit requirements for graduation, certification or completion
  • Must be 18-21 years old and eligible for Special Education Services
  • Must be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Basic and effective communication skills
  • Basic reading and writing skills
  • Able to manage their own self-care skills
  • Good attendance record
  • Able to pass drug test and background check
  • Ability to understand safety
  • Ability to take directions
  • Maintain appropriate behavior in the workplace

Current Sites/Participating Schools

1University Medical Center–Jackson
Rankin County School District /
Pearl School District /
MS School for Deaf/Blind
2Baptist Hospital–Jackson
Clinton Public School District /
Jackson Public School District /
Madison County School District
3Forrest General–Hattiesburg
Hattiesburg, Petal and
Lamar County School District
4North Mississippi Medical Center–Tupelo
Tupelo School District /
Lee County School District /
Nettleton School District
5South Central Regional Medical Center–Laurel
Jones County School District /
Laurel School District
6Merit Health River Region-Vicksburg
Vicksburg–Warren School District
7Merit Health-Natchez
Natchez-Adams School District
8Columbus Air Force Base
Lowndes County School District
9Singing River Hospital
Pascagoula-Gautier School District
10Viking Range–Greenwood
Leflore Christian School /
JZ George High School /
MS Delta Community College
11King Daughters Hospital–Brookhaven
Lincoln County School District
12Singing River Hospital–Ocean Springs
Ocean Springs School District /
Jackson County School District
13Neshoba General Hospital–Philadelphia
Neshoba County School District /
Philadelphia School District
14Baptist Memorial Hospital–Oxford
Lafayette School District /
Oxford School District
15Baptist Memorial Hospital–Olive Branch
DeSoto County School District
16Baptist Medical Center-Kosciusko
Kosciusko / Attala School District
17Keesler Air Force Base
Biloxi Public School District
18Ochsner Rush Health
Lauderdale County School District

To request services, click here.