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Innovative Program for Individuals with Disabilities Celebrates First Graduates

Five Elizabethton TRC Students are the first to complete a program to prepare for jobs in the construction, maintenance and industrial fields.
Thursday, August 30, 2018 | 12:37pm

Elizabethton – The Elizabethton Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) is proud to recognize the first five graduates of a new program to help individuals with disabilities prepare for jobs in several highly competitive fields in East Tennessee.

Earlier this year the Elizabethton TRC joined with the Northeast State Community College and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) to launch a training program to prepare students for employment in construction, maintenance and industrial industries.  The certification obtained through the Northeast NCCER CORE Construction Program will help place participating students a step above other applicants applying for jobs in these fields.

The two-month program is the first of its kind in the state for a community rehabilitation center.    Students study basic construction site safety and receive training in construction math, hand tools, power tools and construction drawings.

Johnson City student Blake Freeman is among the first class graduating August 30.  Freeman and his fellow graduates are now working with a Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Business Employment Consultant who’s assisting with mock interviews, resumes, and employment searches.

“The program let me meet new friends, prove myself to others, learn new skills and learn new stuff,” said Freeman.

The Elizabethton TRC is one of seventeen state-operated rehabilitation facilities. It provides training programs in Vocational Rehabilitation services within or near the client’s home communities. Services are provided to individuals with disabilities and include comprehensive vocational evaluation, employee development services, and community employment services.

The Vocational Rehabilitation program receives 78.7 percent of its funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. For Federal Fiscal Year 2018, the total amount of grant funds awarded were $59,511,955. The remaining 21.3 percent, $16,106,793, was funded by State appropriations and other non-federal funds.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.