Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele is taking a job as director of an Oklahoma City nonprofit that helps provide education, job training and placement to low-income Oklahomans.

The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM) announced Thursday that former Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Kris Steele will join the interfaith non-profit organization as executive director, effective Nov. 26.

“The vision and vitality that Kris brings to TEEM will ensure we can continue providing the services to meet the needs of our community for many years to come,” said Rev. Tony Zahn, the current executive director who will continue at TEEM as executive director emeritus. “I look forward to working together with Kris in moving TEEM forward to a new level.”

Steele will lead management of TEEM in this new capacity, and programming and operations. Since being elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2000, he had served as associate pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Shawnee until earlier this year. Prior to his public service, Steele served as a Baptist minister and a public school teacher. He earned a B.A. in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University.

“This position provides an opportunity to continue advocating and helping those who are disadvantaged,” said Steele. “Tony and I will work together toward empowering those who face challenges to develop more job skills and become self-sufficient citizens.”

TEEM board chairman Jim Robertson, CEO of Western Industries Corp., stated, “We are fortunate to bring on Kris with his strategic vision for TEEM. He will be an effective leader and will do great things for TEEM and the community we serve.”

TEEM is an interfaith non-profit organization founded in 1987 and has served and nurtured 12,000 lives and families in Oklahoma. Its mission is to reduce poverty, homelessness and unemployment in Oklahoma. At no charge, TEEM provides education, social services, and job training and placement so students are able to become self-sufficient and pass on their legacy to their children.