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Herman Smith

Herman Smith

From left, Jim Struby, OKDHS; Rep. Charlie Joyner; Herman Smith; Joe Robinson, ODCTE; Janie Clay, OkCTEEC; and Kathy Quinn-Teague, OSRHE.

April 25, 2014

Herman Smith of S&S Career Services recently received the Outstanding Business/Industry Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.

Smith was one of 25 people honored at the 20th annual Making It Work Day April 24 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students and members who received national honors for their efforts.

Smith has been an internship and employment partner with EmPower for approximately four years, said Bob L. Davis, a training and development specialist at Rose State College, who nominated Smith for the award.

During that time, Smith was a manager and vice president of two different businesses, Responsive Family Services and S&S Career Services, and has had seven student interns and hired two of them, Davis said.

“Students interning with S&S Career Services are treated with respect and dignity, taught practical uses for their training and allowed to demonstrate initiative in their job tasks,” Davis said.

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“The mission of OkCTEEC is to serve as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents, teen parents, single pregnant teens and women, nontraditional students and at-risk females,” said Lou Ann Hargrave, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Sandy Elledge of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“State and federal programs often cannot remove all the obstacles facing those living in poverty,” said Janie Clay, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the Allied Jobs Program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. “Therefore, a strong community partnership is imperative among agencies, businesses and industries as the participants transition from education and training to employment and self-sufficiency. We rely heavily on our partners to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom.”

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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