Tennessee Rehabilitation Center Graduates Strive for Success

Friday, December 16, 2016 | 2:36pm

Graduation Ceremony Celebrates Student Accomplishments and Employment Readiness 

NASHVILLE – More than 50 students celebrated their graduation and success in vocational training at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna (TRC-Smyrna). The graduates participated in training programs designed to equip them with the skills needed for competitive employment in the industry of their choice.

TRC-Smyrna offers people with disabilities a range of programs aligned with employer needs including: Auto Maintenance/Detailing; Business Education; Building Maintenance; Grounds Keeping; Commercial Cleaning; Food Service; Retail; Gardening and Manufacturing. In addition to vocational training, TRC-Smyrna provides vision impairment services, traumatic brain injury services, physical rehabilitation services, vocational evaluations and other support services.

“We are proud of our TRC graduates in building upon their skill sets. We know their skills, enthusiasm, and drive truly make them an asset for Tennessee’s workforce,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter. 

Dr. Trish Holliday, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Learning Officer for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources served as the guest speaker. During her speech, Dr. Holliday encouraged graduates, “My charge to you as you go forward is to have the right attitude, continue to learn, grow, and be thankful.” As Chief Learning Officer for state government, Dr. Holliday creates and leads learning opportunities focused on leadership, organizational culture, and the mission and goals of customer focused government along with many other initiatives.

A member of the graduating class, Rachel Barnett served as the student speaker.  During her speech, Barnett talked about her experience at TRC, “I can’t express how great TRC has been for me…from training on applications and interviews, to having fun with my classmates. I was hired on the spot and I appreciate the training I got being at TRC. Everyone keep going, get that job.” Barnett participated in the Food Service program and is currently employed as a Dietary Aide at NHC-Springfield. Barnett is originally from Adams, TN.

Tennessee Department of Human Services Chief of Program and Services, Cherrell Campbell-Street also commented on the success of TRC students, "I am so proud of the TRC students' accomplishments and the support they received from the TRC-Smyrna team.  We are very happy to be a part of their journey to reach their employment goals through the completion of comprehensive vocational training programs."

The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, one of only eight centers in the nation, is a state operated comprehensive rehabilitation facility. TRC provided rehabilitation services to more than 500 students in FY 2016 and has a success rate of 95%. Since opening its doors in 1977, the TRC has provided vocational and employment related trainings to approximately 34,000 Tennesseans living with disabilities.

Services are provided on campus and the majority of students live in residential units on the campus while receiving services. The TRC is located at 460 9th Avenue in Smyrna, just east of the Smyrna Airport near Sam Ridley Parkway. For more information on the center, please visit http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/topic/trc-smyrna or call (615) 459-6811.

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CONTACT:  Devin Stone, 615-313-5786