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Oklahoma DHS Sequoyah County TANF Unit

Oklahoma DHS Sequoyah County TANF Unit

From left, Jim Struby, OKDHS; Kermit McMurry, OSRHE; Janoa Ellis, Summer McGarrah and Missy Carrigan, Sequoyah County TANF Unit; Marcie Mack, ODCTE.

March 24, 2016

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Sequoyah County TANF Unit recently received the Outstanding Community Agency/Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

The Sequoyah County Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Unit was among five organizations and 17 people honored at the 22nd annual Making It Work Day March 23 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals and organizations 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.

Staff members of the TANF Unit have worked with Power 1 students from Carl Albert State College’s Sallisaw campus, teaching them about privacy rights, how the OKDHS budget works and customer service, along with work etiquette, organization and multitasking, said Ashley Watts, Power 1 program specialist, who nominated the unit for the award.

“Not only are our students learning valuable lessons, but they are also working with county social workers as well as clients, getting acquainted with them as well as serving them,” she said. “Interpersonal skills are an important staple that is taught to our students every day at OKDHS, such as verbal communication, nonverbal communication, listening, manners, problem-solving and social awareness.”

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 women, nontraditional students and at-risk females. This ceremony is put on to honor the tireless work of our amazing students and partners,” said Charlie Weeks, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. He serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“OkCTEEC hosts Making It Work Day as a way to recognize the hardworking students, the administration and instructors who affect those students and community partners and businesses that provide a continuous avenue of support for students and schools in their area. Making It Work Day focuses on those students who encounter greater odds than most students would during their training,” said Leslie Brown, OkCTEEC president and POWER program director at Western Oklahoma State College.

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

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