Karin Norington-Reaves is the founding CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, the nation’s largest public workforce system with more than 90 delegate agencies under its umbrella. Under Karin’s leadership, The Partnership has grown from a sole focus on federally funded workforce programs to a diverse portfolio of 26 initiatives representing corporate and philanthropic funds topping more than $120 million in non-federal workforce development funding investments to date.
Karin’s leadership of The Partnership exemplifies the belief that workforce development is not social service but the cornerstone of economic development. The organization’s credo, “economic empowerment through employment,” is brought to life every day through the work of The Partnership’s staff and its workforce development network, which provides services to more than 140,000 people and 1,000 businesses a year.
Karin’s civic engagement extends to numerous organizations. She serves as a member of the Cook County Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Board of Advisors for LISC Chicago, and the Board of Trustees for the Workforce Development Council of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among others.
A Chicago native, Karin holds a J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas, and a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She began her career as a bilingual Spanish educator teaching Spanish-speaking child to read and write in their native language and English as a Second Language to adults. Karin is also the proud mother of a blended family of four children.