Area Director – West

State of Tennessee

Jackson, TN


Position Description / Responsibilities

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 in preparation for their employment in the competitive labor market.  Services provided that reduce or eliminate disability related barriers to employment may 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 Area Director is responsible for providing localized leadership and managing the field operations of the west grand region.  This includes the management and oversight of all vocational rehabilitation services provided to clients in the three geographic regions that cover the 21 counties of west Tennessee.  In coordination with the Assistant Director of Client Services, the Area Director is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that identify and meet client and employer needs in the area while providing leadership for a team of three (3) Program Supervisors who are responsible for teams of rehabilitation professionals including Field Supervisors, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and support staff located throughout the region.  In addition, the Area Director must build long-term relationships with community rehabilitation service providers, local area workforce boards, advocacy organizations, the disability community, local education agencies, training institutions, and businesses with a presence in the area 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 VR field operations, functions, and activities in the assigned grand region.  Evaluate and oversee the organization, structure, and staffing of the grand region to achieve area and VR 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 3 Program Supervisors including conducting regular meetings and professional development plans and training opportunities for staff.

§  Ensure VR policy and procedure compliance throughout the grand region in collaboration with the policy and case management system staff. 

§  Develop and implement innovative education and outreach plans to increase awareness of VR 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.  

§  Establish, maintain, and strengthen relationships with state partners at the local level including Economic and Community Development (ECD), Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD) and their Workforce Investment Networks, American Job Centers and One Stops across the grand region.

§  Maintain and strengthen relationships and communication with advocacy organizations, the disability community and other stakeholders specific to the VR Program and represent the Department and the Vocational Rehabilitation 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 years of full-time professional work in one or a combination of the following:  social services, human services, education, auditing, accounting, and/or social services grant coordination.  At least four years of this experience must have been human services program evaluation or case review work.

§  1-2 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 by February 7, 2019.   Review of resumes beginning January 23, 2019. All email submissions must include in the subject line: Area Director - Vocational Rehabilitation (West TN).

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