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Tennessee Rehabilitation Center

Workforce Solutions ~ O*NET Contributions

Tennessee Center's Innovative Team Approach Prepares Job Seekers with Brain Injuries for Skilled Work in Local Businesses

Workforce Challenge: Staff members of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program at Tennessee Rehabilitation Center see firsthand the difficulties faced by their clients. The Program helps individuals rebuild bodies, skills, careers, and lives derailed by a serious accident, injury, or a stroke. Its mission is important in helping members of a frequently untapped labor source to become productive and satisfied workers.

Agency Solution: The Center's** TBI Program uses a closely coordinated team approach to provide diagnostic, vocational, academic, and therapeutic services that support the client's transition to the community and to employment. The goal is to help them find jobs they want to do and can do well.

O*NET Contribution: According to Trevecca (Becky) Griffin, TBI's vocational evaluator, many clients already have a job or career goal in mind. To help staff understand what a client's choice is likely to require, Ms. Griffin turns to O*NET® OnLine. She prints out detailed reports of the skills, knowledge, abilities and other characteristics of the occupation and gives a copy to all team members so they can tailor their assistance to the individual's needs and goals. These O*NET reports help the team's occupational, physical, speech and language, and other therapists.

Ms. Griffin likes O*NET OnLine because of its detailed, comprehensive, and up-to-date information. A while ago, in a Google search, she discovered the O*NET system was going to replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). The DOT, she says, hadn't been updated in years, and her young clients dismissed its descriptions as totally out-of-date.

O*NET OnLine's "Related Occupations" is another very useful feature. Clients may pick an occupation that does not really fit their current abilities or needs. The Related Occupations feature gives them a much broader range of choices and opens up new possibilities for them to consider.

Business Benefits: TBI vocational evaluations focus on identifying a client's strengths and talents, and the Job Placement Specialist also uses the O*NET Interest ProfilerT to help clients identify their work-related interests and needs. By the time clients are ready for work, the TBI team understands what they can do well and where they might fit in a particular workplace. They can help employers see how and where a worker would be an asset. Employers appreciate and are receptive to the Job Placement Specialist's help in finding competent, reliable workers. For the TBI Team, their clients, and their business customers, it's a win-win situation.

Contact:
Trevecca (Becky) Griffin, Vocational Evaluator, Traumatic Brain Injury Program, Tennessee Rehabilitation Center
Telephone: 615-355-1373, Ext. 150
Email: Becky.Griffin@state.tn.us
URL: www.state.tn.us/humanserv/rehab/trc.html