KRA Supports South East Collaborative Workforce Development Initiative
For the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (Partnership), KRA provides a comprehensive array of career-development services—guidance, education, occupational-skills training, and employment—for the area’s Adult, Dislocated, and Youth jobseekers through the Westside American Job Center and, since August 2020, the Chatham Education and Workforce Center (CEWC) on the Southside.
Already struggling economically, first from the impact of the 2007-2009 Recession, and then from the devastating effects of COVID-19, area public- and private-sector leaders realized the need to do more to support the Chatham Community.
On the 3rd Thursday of each month, members of the South East Collaborative (SEC) meet at the CEWC to ensure, manage, and create robust projects that address the individual and systemic barriers to employment faced by jobseekers in Chatham and surrounding neighborhoods.
In addition to the Partnership, the coalition of non-profit-, private- and public-sector organizations includes the Department of Commerce, Digby Detective Security Agency, Greater Chatham Initiative, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, ICAAPS, Olive-Harvey CCC, and Restorative Justice & Community Building—to name just a few.
According to Frank Roberts, KRA Resource Room Attendant/Trainer, who is instrumental in organizing the meetings, stated, “The overarching objective of the SEC is to bring public and private funders together to support efforts that advance the labor-market prospects of un- and under-employed residents, while meeting the needs of our region’s employers for a skilled workforce.
“An integral component of SEC’s objective is sector-development focused on the Aerial & Digital, Construction, Economic Development, Education, Security Services, Strategic Resources, Veterans Assistance, and Website arenas that will, in measurable ways, assist prospective jobseekers in accessing comprehensive wrap-around workforce-development services and support.
“Current plans include developing partnerships with other community groups on projects that benefit the area, free Career/Job Fairs targeting opportunities for HBCU students and Veterans, a presentation on the Urban Air Mobility industry, providing information and application assistance for those interested in B2B Grants, and much more!
“One of the greatest things about the SEC is the devotion of its members to apply their considerable experience and expertise to create innovative ideas, working together with shared values and visions for the Chatham area’s revitalization.”