Siskin Hospital’s Darlene Jenkins Is Chattanooga’s First Certified Employment Support Professional

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Darlene Jenkins
Darlene Jenkins

Siskin Hospital announced that Darlene Jenkins is now a certified employment support professional.

The Employment Support Professional Certification Council administers the exam. The tested content areas consist of Core Values, Assessment, Job Development, Job Training, and Ongoing Support categories. Ms. Jenkins is the first person in the greater Chattanooga area to have passed the CESP examination.

According to The University of Tennessee’s Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment and the TN DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services, the CESP program is the first in the nation to create national guidelines to validate and support training currently provided in the field. Unlike training programs that provide a certificate of completion, the CESP exam tests a candidate’s ability to apply the training in real world examples. National standards ensure professionals across the country are using cutting edge service delivery, design, and ethics. 

Created by subject matter experts and leaders in the field of disability employment, the CESP exam seeks to define the benchmarks for knowledge and competency in the field. The CESP Certification increases the visibility of competent professionals, helps consumers connect with professionals they can trust, and creates a standard that defines the roles and responsibilities of employment support professionals. Additionally, the certification helps to improve employability and provide opportunities for career advancement, while legitimizing and enhancing professionalism in the field, said officials. 

Ms. Jenkins has over 30 years of work experience in employment and training with the economically disadvantaged and disabled population, with 17 years of service at Siskin Hospital. Ms. Jenkins currently works in the Vocational Services Department, where she specializes in serving clients who participate in the Community Re-Entry Services and the Pre-Vocational Skills Training programs. These programs provide treatment that leads to paid employment and independent living skills for clients with a brain injury or other neurological impairments who are ready to enter the competitive workforce and the community. Additionally, Ms. Jenkins works in the Supported Employment Program and provides Vocational Evaluations at Siskin Hospital.

Ms. Jenkins has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She is a certified lift-test evaluator, serves on the POSitively Caring Committee, works with the Driving Evaluation Program, and the TDOT Yellow Dot Program. She was also recently named a board member for the Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association.

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