Northeast Community Action Agency, Delaware County, human resource manager
Kristi Stout, human resource manager at Northeast Community Action Agency in Delaware County, recently received the Outstanding Community Partner/Agency Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.
She was one of 12 Oklahomans honored, along with four businesses and organizations, at the 27th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol in a virtual ceremony April 30. 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.
Stout, who has worked at Northeast Community Action Agency for more than 20 years, joined the agency as a summer youth worker and finished her college degree while working there full-time. She has been the human resource manager for more than 10 years.
She has accepted internship students from the Allied Jobs Program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and “has taken them under her wing to extend her appreciation of our program,” said Robin Shambaugh, Delaware County coordinator for the Allied Jobs Program, who nominated her for the award.
Stout helps the students learn to work with others as a team to get a job done even if the tasks aren’t their assigned duties, Shambaugh said.
“Kristi loves to see our students become successful and wants to be a part of our program to help as much as she can,” Shambaugh said. “She feels this is one of the best ways of giving back to her community for the opportunity she was given.”
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 Making It Work Day ceremony is such an important part of OkCTEEC as it publicly acknowledges those students, programs and business partners that have done an outstanding job meeting their career goals,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “The event this year is even more important, as we have persevered through a pandemic and still have individuals who have excelled.”
She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges, said Lisa D. Brown, OkCTEEC president and director for career transitions at Oklahoma City Community College, but students, faculty, staff and community partners met the challenges head-on, redesigning traditional methods of assistance and education.
“These students have persevered through the many changes in their pursuit of their goals and even some events in their own families,” she said. “In addition to their academic success, they have strengthened even more skills in communication, collaboration, adaptation and endurance that will be of great benefit as valuable life skills they will never forget they developed or discovered they had.”
OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.