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Tennessee Rehabilitation Center graduates prepare for jobs

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 14, 2017 at 6:00 PM

NASHVILLE – More than 65 students celebrated their graduation and completion of vocational training recently at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna. Graduates participated in training programs designed to equip them with the skills needed for competitive integrated employment in the industry of their choice.

TRC-Smyrna offers people with disabilities a range of programs to match employer needs, including auto maintenance and detailing; business education; building maintenance; commercial cleaning; food service; retail; manufacturing and logistics; power equipment; and garden and nursery training. In addition to vocational training, TRC-Smyrna provides vision impairment services, traumatic brain injury services, physical rehabilitation services, autism spectrum disorder services, vocational evaluations and other support services.

“TRC students work hard and with unwavering focus,” said Tennessee Department of Human Services Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes. “Today’s graduates have the skills, training and tenacious attitude employers look for in employees. I’m proud of their accomplishments thus far and I look forward to their future success.”

Former TRC graduate, Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory, provided the commencement speech. He told the graduates, “You owe it to yourself to be able to tell your story. Know your story and share it. You can changes lives.”

TRC graduate Clair McCain spoke to her fellow graduates and said, “I encourage you to make good decisions and good luck to you, even in the hard times. When it gets hard, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t give up.” 

A Knoxville native, McCain participated in TRC-Smyrna’s food services program. She looks forward to explore employment opportunities, getting her own car and an apartment.

The Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, one of only eight centers in the nation, is a state-operated comprehensive rehabilitation facility. Since opening its doors in 1977, the TRC has provided vocational and employment related trainings to about 35,000 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 at 460 Ninth Ave. in Smyrna, just east of the Smyrna Airport near Sam Ridley Parkway. For more information on the center, visit tn.gov/humanservices/topic/trc-smyrna or call 615-459-6811.

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