DHS helps people with disabilities become pharmacy techs

Posted at 7:12 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 20:20:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Finding a job can be a challenge for people who are disabled, but the state is making it easier by training people for a career in the pharmacy world.

Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) is offering a learning program that will allow students to become pharmacy technicians in 18 weeks. TRC serves people of all learning levels and both physical and intellectual disabilities.

Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Human Services Danielle Barnes says she hopes students can gain independence in their lives through this program.

"The piece for us isn't about the pay, it's about the sustainability of the employment," said Barnes. "What we truly are focused as we're looking at the employment is making sure that people not only have jobs, but they have careers."

The students will learn how to count pills, stock shelves and check the expiration dates on prescriptions. Students are also expected to get on the job training, potentially with the program's partner, CVS.

One of the students in the first class, Brook Cumnock, said she hopes to be able to help pay the bills at her family home.

"I live with my great-grand parents and my grandparents," she said. "I see them a lot taking their medicines and also, I thought maybe I ca learn what type of medicines they're taking and see when they need to get it refilled or not."

The first round of classes starts in July.