Workforce Wisdom is a podcast brought to you by The Workforce Connection Board. In every episode, Dr. Lisa M. Bly-Jones interviews leaders and professionals across the workforce, informing your path to career success. In this episode, Dr. Bly-Jones is speaking with Karin M. Norington-Reaves, Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership. Karin M. Norington-Reaves is a lifelong public servant with more than 25 years of experience in education, law, advocacy, community, and workforce development. In 2012, Karin became the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) upon her appointment by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

As CEO and change agent, she led the merger and restructuring of three diverse workforce systems into what is now the nation’s most extensive workforce system managed by a non-profit administrative agency. Karin leads The Partnership’s mission to ensure that “every person has the skills to build a career and every business have the talent it needs to compete in a global economy.”

She oversees the administration of federal, state and philanthropic funds and the creation of effective programs that assure alignment between the skills demanded by a changing economy and those offered by the region’s labor force. She also works to generate both private and public funding to expand the services available throughout Chicagoland. In her tenure, The Partnership has raised nearly $50 million in diverse funds, including a $10.9 million grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation – the most significant gift in the history of the foundation.

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