Mobile menu

  1. Orange
  2. Blue
  3. Purple
  4. Green
  5. Light Blue
  6. Dark Blue

Project SEARCH

What is Project SEARCH?

Project SEARCH is a business led collaboration between UMMC, Rankin County School District (RCSD), Pearl Public School District, and The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services that enables young adults with disabilities to gain and maintain employment through training and career exploration. It is an unpaid internship. The goal for each program 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 disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life. As a result, at the completion of the training program, students with intellectual disabilities are employed in nontraditional, complex and rewarding jobs.


What Does a Good Project SEARCH Candidate Look Like?

  • Should be finished with their high school requirements for graduation or certificate of completion so that they will be able to focus their entire day on gaining competitive and marketable work skills.  Agree to exit high school after successful completion of the program

  • Must be between 18-21 years old and eligible for Special Education Services.

  • Must be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation through MS Department of Rehabilitation Services (RCSD will assist with this)

  • Must have good attendance record

  • Should have caregiver/family support to participate in planning meetings

  • Should have a positive attitude

  • Basic and effective communication skills (verbal or supported by technology)

  • Basic reading and writing skills

  • Ability to manage their own self-care (to include appropriate social, grooming and hygiene skills

  • Able to pass drug screening and background check

  • Must have updated immunizations (including the flu and COVID-19 vaccines)

  • Must complete TB testing

  • Must be prepared to make arrangements for transportation for employment upon completion of the program

  • Maintain appropriate behavior in the workplace (absent of excessive behavioral reports). Have the ability to take directions and change behavior when needed

  • Ability to self-manage health needs while at the program

  • Ability to tolerate long walking/standing

  • Must have the ability to understand safety

  • Should have the ability to understand CONFIDENTIALITY. (Should have the ability to respect the privacy of others to include not listening to other people’s conversations either on the phone or in person, not trying to look at other people’s computer screens while at work)

Things to Know about Project SEARCH at UMMC

  • 2023-2024 will be the 6th year for UMMC to be the host site.

  • There are 3 staff which include the Project SEARCH Instructor & 2 Job Skills Trainers. 

  • The interns follow the RCSD Student Calendar for school days/holidays.

  • Transportation is provided for RCSD students. 

  • Interns participate in employability skills training (1 1/2 Hours) & work-based learning (4 Hours) in the form of an unpaid internships.

  • They are trained for 3-ten week rotations in departments around UMMC.

  • Departments that have previously accepted interns are Shipping and Receiving, Supply Chain, Print Shop, Housekeeping, Ambassador Services, Hospital Administration, Patient Experience, Physical Therapy, Food Services, Respiratory Therapy, Animal Lab, and Patient Equipment. 

  • Applications are due in February 

  • Interviews and skills assessments are conducted in early March 

  • Award and denial letters are sent out in April





Unit 1: Team Building

Unit 2: Workplace Safety

Unit 3: Technology

Unit 4: Self-Advocacy

Unit 5: Maintaining Employment

Unit 6: Financial Literacy

Unit 7: Health and Wellness

Unit 8: Preparing for Employment

Unit 9. Social and Communication

Important Dates

October 26, 2023


Project SEARCH Informational Meeting for students, parents, and teachers at the RCSD Board Room. 

February 16, 2024 

Deadline to submit applications for Project SEARCH 2024-25

March 7, 2024 

Interviews/skills assessments for Project SEARCH 2024-25 

April 2024

Acceptance and Denial Letters sent out for Project SEARCH 2024-25 candidates

May 2024

Annual IEP’s to add Project SEARCH and Goals to IEP