Dawn of Hope Works!
The Vocational Services Program is focused on offering program participants an assortment of employment opportunities. Employment promotes independence, identity and self confidence to all individuals. The State of Tennessee, Division of Mental Retardation Services and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has implemented an Employment First Initiative which focuses on employment being the first day service considered. The Dawn of Hope Vocational Services Program is a leader in the State in providing opportunities in employment for persons with disabilities. The program provides employment services to over 125 individuals through out the Tri-Cities area. The 30 Direct Support Personnel providing supports have received extensive training in the areas of employment and disabilities. The program has four divisions to provide employment opportunities in the counties of Washington, Carter, Unicoi, Sullivan, and Greene counties.
FACILITY BASED SERVICES
This division established in 1981 is focused on employment opportunities and training within a sheltered environment. The facility is located at 2216 Eddie Williams Road in the Johnson City Industrial Park. Each of the 40+ service recipients work on contract work and receive a payroll check for the work they perform. Some examples of the contract work are bulk mailing, quality control inspections, repackaging of product, box formation/assembly, rework services, recycling and packaging. The contract work is diversified with companies from Canada to the local industrial park as sub-contract customers.
COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES
This division is focused on employment opportunities in the community with work crews located within local businesses. With over 30 service recipients working at 12 work sites the community is aware of the quality of work provided. The State Use program networking with Community Rehabilitation Agencies (CMRA) is an intricate part of the success of this division. Contracts at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center have also provided employment and visibility to Federal Government contracting. Examples of the work performed are File Room Clerk, Dish Room attendant, custodial services, and grounds maintenance.
JOB PLACEMENT/CAREER SERVICES
This division was established in 1988 to assist people in finding and obtaining employment in the community with local businesses. The staff provides training and assistance in career planning, job searching, interviewing, pre-employment activities, and job access. After an individual is employed the staff provides job coaching on the job site. With the support of employers like Food City, Arby’s, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Outback, Harbor House, Cantach Industries, Food Lion, Pal’s, Wendy’s, Texas Raodhouse, Wilson Pharmacy, and Holston Medical Center, over 40 service recipients are working in the local community, building independence and confidence. With career training some service recipients have built long term relationships of over 15 years of employment with the same employer.
REST AREA BASED SERVICES
This division was established in 2002 providing employment and training at two Rest Areas on Interstate 81 through the cooperation of the State Use Program, Tennessee Department Of Transportation (TDOT) and CMRA. These Rest Areas are located on the interstate in Upper Northeast Tennessee where they are the first or last impression given to travelers in Tennessee. The employees are responsible for traveler’s information and the full operation of the sites including custodial and grounds maintenance service. Currently, 13 individuals are employed providing quality service to the State of Tennessee and representing the State to travelers.
email Jon Cardwell Director of Vocational Services
or call 423-434-5600