Tennessee Rehabilitation Center Celebrates New Graduates

Monday, August 29, 2016 | 5:09pm

The TRC in Smyrna holds graduation ceremony to honor student success in vocational training.

NASHVILLE – On Friday, more than 50 newly trained and skilled students graduated from vocational rehabilitation programs at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) in Smyrna. The new graduates - whose disabilities include traumatic brain injury, cognitive impairments and blindness – have received workplace and life management skills to enhance their chosen occupational paths.

Hannah Willis, former TRC student and currently enrolled at Tennessee Tech University, delivered the commencement address. She shared her story with the new graduates and said, “I’ve learned so many things and I’ve made so many choices and I really want to stress upon all of you, after today, you will be faced with choices. I hope you choose to think positive, I hope you choose to speak positive, and I hope you will be positive.” A student speaker and graduate Gladys Rudd shared the podium during the graduation program which took place in the center’s gymnasium. Gladys is a graduate of the Employment Readiness Program and is currently receiving training in the Food Service Program.

Cherrell Campbell-Street, Chief Officer and Assistant Commissioner said “We strive to create programs and services that match TRC student’s employment needs and interests. We are proud of their accomplishments thus far and look forward to their continued success.”

Graduates participated in various programs offered by TRC including vocational training in eight specializations, Physical Rehabilitation Services, Traumatic Brain Injury and Vision Impairment Services. Many graduates have found employment or are proceeding with plans for additional training and employment preparation.

Dr. Raquel Hatter, Department of Human Services Commissioner, said “It’s a priority of the department to provide tools that enable Tennesseans, including those with disabilities to reach their ultimate employment goals and an enhanced quality of life. When everyone can reach their potential and fully contribute to our communities, we all benefit.”

The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, one of only eight centers in the nation, is a state operated comprehensive rehabilitation facility. TRC provided vocational rehabilitation services to 600 students in FY 2016 and has a success rate of 93 percent. 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
Office:  615-313-5786

Human Services