Tennessee Rehabilitation Center Recognizes New Graduates

Friday, April 29, 2016 | 02:04pm

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

NASHVILLE – Today, more than 70 newly trained and skilled students embarked on the next phase in their lives after graduating from vocational rehabilitation programs at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna, TN. 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.

Ernie Ricketts, Director of Organizational Development with the Department of Human Resources, Strategic Learning Solutions delivered the commencement address. A student speaker and graduate Demetrius Baker shared the podium during the graduation program which took place in the center’s gymnasium. During his speech, Demetrius encouraged fellow graduates to be brave and make choices based on what they envision for success. Demetrius is a graduate of the Traumatic Brain Injury Program and currently works for an assisted living facility in his hometown.

“The recent group of graduates continues to affirm the strength and capability of people with disabilities,” said Cherrell Campbell- Street, Chief Officer and Assistant Commissioner for the DHS division of Rehabilitation Services. “Their drive and determination in completing their programs have brought them far, and I’m confident they will continue to succeed.”

Today’s graduates participated in various programs offered by TRC including vocational training in 8 specializations, Physical Rehabilitation Services, Traumatic Brain Injury and Vision Impairment Services. Many graduates have found employment in their local community, or are proceeding with plans for additional training and employment preparation.

“Partnering with TRC students and seeing their success, continues to motivate and inspire myself and other DHS staff,” said DHS Commissioner Dr. Raquel Hatter. “We are honored to have played a part in their journey and look forward to their future accomplishments.”

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 nearly 600 students in FY 2015 and has a graduation rate of 93 percent. Since opening its doors in 1977, the TRC has provided life and job skills 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.



CONTACT:  Devin Stone
OFFICE:  615-313-5786