Vocational Opportunities of Cherokee, INC. 

Executive Director

Kimlyn S. Lambert, AASBA, BSBA,  MAEd

Kimlyn Sneed Lambert is the Executive Director of Vocational Opportunities of Cherokee (a non-profit 501 (c) 3) and Cherokee Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation Services, a position she has held since 2005. She was formerly the Director of the EBCI Higher Education and Training Division, where she was employed for 22 years. She has worked tirelessly for her Tribal members on education, job training, and vocational rehabilitation issues for 36 years. She holds AASBA, BSBA and MAED degrees.  She currently serves on the Unto These Hills Scholarship Fund as President, Acting Chairman of the Tribal Transit Board and on the EBCI HELP Committee for the Tribal elderly and persons with disabilities. And she also serves as a TERO Commissioner for the EBCI.

Kim is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and has 3 children; John, Jordan, and Jessica, and a boyfriend Sam. She is an avid reader, social media enthusiast, and writes award winning poetry and short stories in her spare time. She and her family reside on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Cherokee, N.C.

Board of Directors

Dolores Maney, Chair

Alan Ensley

Merritt Youngdeer

Roberta Toineeta

Perry Shell

Shelli Buckner

Dinah Harry 


VOC was established in 1973 to provide vocational rehabilitation services to all members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. In 1985, services were extended to all people in Jackson and Swain counties. In 2000, services were expanded to provide work opportunities to adults with barriers to employment. VOC is a private non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors. 

Mission Statement

The mission of Vocational Opportunities of Cherokee, Inc. is to serve as a community rehabilitation program for persons with disabilities.


To provide work training for individuals sixteen years or older that have barriers to employment…
To provide each individual choices which will help him/her to reach his/her fullest physical, social, vocational, and mental potential…
To aid each person in becoming a self-sufficient individual at home and within his/her community by providing him/her a menu of opportunities…
To provide for persons with disabilities so restrictive as to require a sheltered employment environment, an opportunity to participate in work options and to receive payment in the form of wages.



We believe that persons served by VOC should always be treated with dignity and respect…
We believe the degree of disability should have no bearing on a person’s opportunity to participate in, and have input in his/her program plan…
We believe cultural sensitivity to be a part of the rehabilitation process and consequently, VOC provides culturally enhanced opportunities…
We believe in the empowerment of persons with disabilities through the removal of architectural, attitudinal, employment, transportation, and communication barriers.
VOC believes that persons with disabilities, who are members of the EBCI and persons living in Swain and Jackson Counties, should set the primary direction for VOC’s programming.