CHIPS Learning Services Awarded Contract With State Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tekelia Kelly's CHIPS Learning Services has been awarded a grant contract in the amount of $10,800 from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The grant is to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services to students ages 14-22 who have disabilities, as part of The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.  

The program will be offered to students of all learning abilities, from all area schools and in an inclusive setting.  Students will be screened for eligibility to receive grant funding.  Other students may participate by making payment directly to CHIPS Learning Services. 

Three life-prep classes: 1) Job Exploration, 2) Workplace Readiness, and 3) Self-Advocacy Training will be delivered using curriculum that serves both regular and special education needs.   Classes began May 8 and run through June 30 weekly, one day each week, two hours each day, at various locations in Chattanooga, Hamilton County and other designated areas.  Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church will host its CHIPS Pre-ETS program starting June 5-30, with the kick-off of "CHIPS In The Church".  

Skills development topics covered during the three classes include:
Career exploration
Job preparation
Social skills training
Self-advocacy
Basic literacy skills
Basic computer skills
Employer expectations
Job searching
Workplace readiness
Transition services
Counseling on opportunities for in transition or postsecondary education 

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act provides funding for Pre-Employment Transition Services to support the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, ultimately facilitating competitive integrated employment. 

Parents, guardians and students interested in participating in the Pre-ETS program should contact their local school resource teacher, advisor or guidance counselor; local Vocation Rehabilitation office; or CHIPS Learning Services.  The form of consent and referral must be submitted as well as proof of student's disability for review and referral by Vocational Rehabilitation. 

Since 1995, CHIPS has been dedicated to empowering students with education, employment and entrepreneur learning tracks, and offering 21st programming that include education enrichment, tutoring, academic interventions, STEAM (STEM+Art) project based learning, Technology Education, social, emotional and psychological testing services; and career development services such as mentoring and networking for better school-to-work success.   

Founder, owner and CEO Tekelia Kelly, is a native Chattanoogan who started CHIPS in Memphis.  The former engineer works as an education technology consultant, STEAM teaching artist and Code.org teacher for area schools, summer camps, learning centers, churches and after school programs.  She also performs STEAM-enriched student ticket subsidy programs across the state of Tennessee.  She is a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Academy and Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute. 

Joined by her daughter Rachel Kelly, a licensed school psychologist, psychometrist and education specialist with Ed.S degree, CHIPS will also provide special services under its CHIPS 2.0 program. Director Rachel Kelly will privately provide clients individualized education and career plans, academic intervention, tutoring, assessments and social/emotional services. 

With a track record for helping students go "from school to work more successfully", Ms. Kelly worked as an education systems analyst with Provident Companies, where she volunteered as a Provident business consultant for Jr. Achievement.  She was honored with Jr. Achievement's "Pioneer Award" for her work with seniors at Chattanooga High School and the implementation of Jr. Achievement's inaugural Success Skills 2000 career development program in 1998-1999. 

In 2007, Ms. Kelly was honored with Girls Inc's Unbought Unbossed Award for being one of "14 Women Who've Changed Chattanooga".  Using her Sisters In Business.Net business, she partnered with Girls Inc to empower youth, along with other business organizations and partners in the community; spearheading career fairs, networking meetings, lunch-and-learns, business trade shows and junior entrepreneur business proposal pitches. 

"We are happy to partner with the Tennessee Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide  students Pre-Employment Transition Services," said Tekelia Kelly.  "This builds on our 21st century learning programs and mission, which is to empower students from school to work more successfully.  We are fortunate to be able to reach and teach students of all learning styles and abilities, and in various learning environments--one on one, individually and inclusively.  With this contract and partnership, we are given more opportunity to serve that purpose." 

For further information, please contact Tekelia C. Kelly at CHIPS Learning Services, 421-5646, tekeliakelly@comcast.net  or www.chipslearning.com.
 



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