Project SEARCH Mississippi (UCEDD MS)

March 2, 2015

All young Mississippians, including young Mississippians with disabilities, look forward to finding meaningful work in their hometowns. Project SEARCH Southern Miss is working to increase the number of young adults with intellectual/cognitive and other developmental disabilities obtaining competitive community-based employment in Mississippi.

Project SEARCH is an eight-month training program that consists of daily employment preparatory skills training, community development, mentoring services and work internships. The project targets young adults 18 - 30 years old and includes peer mentoring by students at the University of Southern Mississippi. The training program allows participants to work on employability and functional skills. "Mississippi's Project SEARCH provides a great opportunity for us to assist participating students in gaining the necessary skills to secure employment and to prepare to live independently by earning a living through their employment," said Jin Joo Crosby, program coordinator.

Project SEARCH Southern Miss is a project of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) and was funded by the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities (MCDD). IDS is partnering with the National Project SEARCH Transition Program to develop Project SEARCH Southern Miss. The national Project SEARCH program model assists students in learning relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the business in which the businesses are active partners. "It is an exciting time for inclusive employment in Mississippi with the development of the Project SEARCH Southern Miss program. Employment is one of IDS' core focus areas, and this program will increase the ability of people with disabilities to work in their community. IDS looks forward to housing this program on the Southern Miss campus and furthering the university's vision in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities," said Jerry Alliston, Ph.D., MSW, coordinator for Community Inclusion and Volunteer Service at IDS.

For more information about Project SEARCH Southern Miss, contact Jin Joo Crosby at jin.mcclendon@usn.edu.