DHS Prog Dir 2- VR Area Director Sensory

State of Tennessee


Business & Professional Services

Position Description / Responsibilities

Job Location: TBD – Johnson City, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Jackson or Memphis, Tennessee


DHS Program Director 2 – Vocational Rehabilitation

(Area Director – Sensory Unit)


The Department of Human Services’ mission is to offer temporary economic assistance, work opportunities and protective services to improve the lives of Tennesseans. Our vision is to be a leader in effectively partnering with human service customers in establishing or re-establishing self-sufficiency to create a better quality of life.


The Division of Rehabilitation Services, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program, seeks to provide employment-focused rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities consistent with their strengths, priorities, and resources.  The VR Program provides a variety of individualized services to persons with disabilities that help to eliminate or remove disability related barriers in preparation for their employment in the competitive labor market.  In addition to VR employment services, VR offers services specific to the unique needs of individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing or who are blind and visually impaired.  These programs include services can include counseling and guidance, training, maintenance and transportation, transition services from school to work, personal care assistance, rehabilitation technology services, job placement, post-employment services, supported employment, and independent living services.    


Under the general supervision of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program Assistant Director of Client Services, the Sensory Area Director is responsible for managing the field operations of the VR programs specific to individuals with sensory loss.  This includes the management and oversight of all vocational rehabilitation services provided to clients with sensory loss and the operation of the Tennessee Business Enterprise (TBE) program, the Independent Living program, and the Tennessee Council for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing (TCDDBHH).  The Area Director is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that identify and meet client needs while providing leadership for a team of five (5) Program Directors who are responsible for their respective teams located across the state.  In addition, the Area Director must build long-term relationships with community rehabilitation service providers, advocacy organizations, the disability community, the Tennessee School for the Deaf, the Tennessee School for the Blind, training institutions, and other stakeholders to promote and increase the employment of individuals with disabilities in the competitive integrated labor market.


Position Responsibilities:

§  Provide leadership, guidance and direction for all Sensory Unit operations, functions, and activities statewide.  Evaluate and oversee the organization, structure, and staffing of the Sensory Unit to achieve unit and program goals including meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities, the business community, and compliance with the requirements of Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

§  Provide day to day oversight of the 5 Program Directors including conducting regular meetings and professional development plans and training opportunities for staff.

§  Ensure VR policy and procedure compliance throughout all program areas in collaboration with the policy and case management system staff. 

§  Develop and implement innovative education and outreach plans to increase awareness of program services that targets potential clients, geographic locations and businesses tailored to the needs of both VR clients and the business community based on labor market data and employment trends in the grand region.  

§  Maintain and strengthen relationships and communication with state partners, advocacy organizations, the disability community and other stakeholders specific to the Sensory Unit and represent the Department and the program to a variety of audiences across the grand region. 

Position Requirements

Position Requirements:

§  Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in social services, human services, or a related field. Master’s degree preferred.

§  Experience equivalent to five (5) years of full-time professional work in one or a combination of the following:  social services, human services, and/or social services grant coordination.  At least four years of this experience must have been human services program evaluation or case review work.  Experience with sensory loss preferred.

§  Minimum 3 years supervisory experience including experience in leadership practices that values and rewards inclusion, team work, collaboration, innovation, and performance excellence.

§  Proven success in establishing key relationships and exhibiting advanced influencing skills with all levels of management and external stakeholders.

§  Flexible work style, ability to handle the pace of the environment with unexpected changes.

§  Strong interpersonal, communication, presentation, and listening skills.



§  Decision Quality

§  Problem Solving

§  Dealing with Ambiguity

§  Timely Decision Making

§  Organizing

§  Directing others

§  Conflict Management

§  Drive for results

§  Organization agility

§  Approachability

§  Interpersonal savvy


Information regarding State of Tennessee benefits:



Target Salary: $65,000. Salary will be commensurate with knowledge, skills and experience directly related to this job.


Applicants may be subject to background check.  


Any position could ultimately be designated as work from home, mobile work or free address (i.e. Employees work in office and can choose from various space options based on need for a given day such as private meeting rooms, conference rooms, collaborative spaces and enclaves for individual work assignments.)


Pursuant to the state of Tennessee’s policy of non-discrimination, The Tennessee Department of Human Services does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, creed, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or military services—in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs, services or activities.

Application Instructions

How to Apply: Please submit resume and cover letter outlining your related experience to talent.management.dhs@tn.gov by November 26, 2018. Review of resumes beginning November 12, 2018.   All email submissions must include in the subject line: DHS Program Director 2 – Vocational Rehabilitation Area Director – Sensory Unit

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