State Regents recognize partnership between Eastern and the The Community State Bank


WILBURTON, OK (March 25, 2020) – Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The partnership between Eastern Oklahoma State College and The Community State Bank was recognized at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award luncheon, an event designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Oklahoma State Regent Mike Turpen served as master of ceremonies for the event. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and State Regent Ann Holloway also participated.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

“Our colleges and universities collaborate with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to strengthen our workforce,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These partnerships between businesses and our state system institutions advance Oklahoma’s efforts to build the skilled workforce required to compete in today’s global economy.”

Locally owned and operated, The Community State Bank (TCSB) is a community-oriented organization whose staff is involved in numerous civic and community events, activities and fundraisers in southeast Oklahoma. In fall 2017, TCSB opened a branch location in Wilburton and quickly became a supporter of EOSC’s scholarship initiatives and student activities. TCSB and the Bob Reed Family Trust of Poteau partnered with EOSC’s agriculture division to purchase three sets of stocker cattle for use in the college’s ranch management degree program. Students take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the stocker herd before selling them to a commercial feedlot. After the initial investments were recovered, the nearly $70,000 in proceeds were donated to the EOSC Foundation to support the agriculture division. In addition, TCSB became the lead sponsor in the 2019 Eastern Oklahoma Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The annual event is for math and science students in grades six through 12, and encourages students to learn the scientific method, conduct original scientific research and report their experimental results.

The Community State Bank and Eastern Oklahoma State College were recently recognized at an event honoring successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses. Pictured at the event are (left to right) OSRHE Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, State Regent Ann Holloway, representatives of The Community State Bank including Cindy Dye, Cindy Long, Karen Ford, Kirstin Martinez and Taylor Branstetter, as well as Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith.

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