After a 42-year career, Ernestine Howard of Granville County’s Department of Social Services (DSS) has announced her retirement. Hired in 1978, her long service with Granville County Government has set a record for the most years of employment with the County.
During her career, Howard transitioned to several key areas as needs in the Department changed, moving from a Clerk/Typist in the food stamp program to an Eligibility Specialist. After ten years in that role, she was promoted assistant to the supervisor before being moved to Fraud Investigator for the Public Assistance Program, where she conducted home visits and participated in legal actions. In 2006, Howard was promoted to Food Stamp Supervisor, earning the title of Program Administrator seven years later.
“You have to know about all the programs available and keep up with changes,” Howard said of her experience with Social Services. “You also have to care about the people you serve. That’s what it’s all about.”
Social Services Director Adonica Hampton notes that it has been “her privilege” to serve with Howard each day.
“In the short time I have worked with Ms. Howard, I have seen her commitment to serving our citizens,” she said. “She could have chosen other human services opportunities, but she decided to serve at home, where her heart is. I have the highest regard for her, both personally and professionally.”
A floating reception was held on Dec. 10 in Howard’s honor, with co-workers, colleagues, Commissioners, friends and family in attendance. In his remarks, County Commissioner/Vice-Chair Tony Cozart described Howard as being a valuable asset to the Social Services team.
“Although we wish her the best in her retirement, her years of experience and her compassion for others will be sorely missed,” Cozart said. “She has a heart for public service, and has set a great example for others to follow.”
Howard’s retirement is effective Dec 31.