Karin Norington-Reaves, Director, Cook County Works
Karin Norington-Reaves was recently appointed to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, a newly created collaborative agency designed to merge, reform and revitalize workforce development in the greater Chicagoland area including the City of Chicago and Cook County.
Under Ms. Norington-Reaves’ leadership, the new agency will begin the creation of a demand-driven job training system and will focus on working directly with employers and job-seekers to ensure that the system is streamlined, focused on specific opportunities, and easy to use for businesses and job-seekers alike.
Ms. Norington-Reaves served as the Director of Cook County Works, the federally-funded workforce development agency for south and west suburban Cook County from November 2010 until her recent appointment. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Director of the Office of Urban Assistance for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), where she created and oversaw programs and implemented policies to address economic issues facing urban populations statewide.
Prior to joining DCEO, Ms. Norington-Reaves served as Chief of Staff for the City of Chicago’s 20th Ward, where she assisted in developing policy, creating and implementing innovative programs and facilitating the quality-of-life planning process for the Washington Park community as part of the New Communities Program of the Local Initiative Support Corporation.
Ms. Norington-Reaves has significant advocacy experience in the fields of public utility consumer protection, health law and education. She began her career as a corps member of the national non-profit education reform organization, Teach for America in Compton, California. She served as an elementary school teacher and in addition to traditional subjects, Norington-Reaves taught Spanish speaking students to read and write in their native language. She later returned to TFA as Executive Director of the Chicago region. She has also served as the Director of School and Corporate Relations for Innovations for Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving early elementary literacy through technology.
After graduating from law school, Norington-Reaves became a practicing attorney. She served as a staff attorney in the Maryland attorney general’s office, as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, as legal counsel and lobbyist for Illinois' Citizens Utility Board and as an adjunct faculty at Loyola University's Beazley Institute for Health Law in Chicago.
Ms. Norington-Reaves received her law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas, Texas, and her undergraduate degree in Spanish Language and Literature from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She currently resides in Chicago and is an active member of her community.
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