The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) selected KRA to operate the new Chatham Education and Workforce Center (the Center) following a competitive RFP-selection process.
On May 13, 2020, in a CCWP website announcement, Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO, stated, “The Center will open this fall and will feature an array of services, including but not limited to resume writing, interview preparation, job training services and employer related services to name a few. Additionally, it will be home to two premier initiatives of The Partnership: ConstructionWorks, powered by the Illinois Tollway, and Chicago Codes.”
Chicago Codes is a 10-week, tuition-free computer coding/web development program, and ConstructionWorks, launched in 2018, is operated currently by KRA for The Partnership through the Westside American Job Center.
Already struggling economically, first from the impact of the 2007-2009 Recession, and now from the devastating effects of COVID-19, after the tragic death of Dr. Betty Howard from a stray bullet that both public- and private-sector community leaders realized the need to do more to support the Chatham neighborhood.
According to Ron Hearns, Director of Midwest Workforce Operations, “KRA will offer both Career- and Business-Development Services, in full support of the Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI), ‘an organization charged with developing and driving the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to revitalize the Chatham neighborhoods,’ led by Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director.”
Additionally, KRA will support the goals and objectives of GCI’s Workforce Development Committee, “to return middle-skill adults to quality jobs through employer engagement and specialized industry-driven training [and] ensure workers of all skill levels have continued access to education and training programs that meet labor demands.”