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Illinois State Representative Nominee Claudia Cattouse-Regaldo
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Nominee Bio-
A seasoned workforce development professional of over 10 years. Started as an Admin Assistant, moved into management of Outreach and Employer Relations. Leading me into working with Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership as an Business Representative and Program Coordinator. Now an Executive Director to UNITE HERE-Chicago Hospitality Institute, a new organization by labor-management and contributing union employers to train and develop workforce for the hospitality industry. 

What is your vision for the workforce development profession?
To make it known that this is an elite profession to be part of. I believe that workforce development is not fully recognized unless you are part of the industry. Our roles are very important to the economic growth and the work we do is to change people's lives for the betterment of their futures. We are counselors, social workers, human resource managers, job developers, experts of workforce. Our work should be recognized externally and more workforce development professionals should be trained.


Do you have a particular interest area or passion in workforce development?
Front of the line work. Intake specialist and case managers are the front line employees of the work we do. They should need more training understanding the fundamentals of WIOA and process to why we are doing the work we do. I also believe that more employment specialist should become certified Human Resource Managers to developing a stronger relationship with those who will hire customers/participants/clients. Innovative and think-out-the-box training to match today's market.


Why do you want to serve on the Board?
As an individual who has worked from front of the line to now into management. I believe I can be an asset to bring new ideas to the table. Illinois has one of the largest workforce staff. During my time at Partnership, I managed 14 agencies out of 63, counted over 300 staff in my 14 agencies alone and only a few are recognized CWDP. I would love to outreach as I have in the past 10 years, provide the necessary tools to staff so they stay in the industry and continue to change lives.


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession today and how can NAWDP address that challenge?
Lack of professional development and innovation. Our market is changing and we need to find new ways to connect not only with participants but also with WIOA staff. I found out about NAWDP while working in the field 7 years ago because I researched the work I was doing. At the Partnership, I was able outreach our staff to receive their CWDP. We need more outreach in Illinois, workshops for staff to become more skilled and better informed. Understand policies and apply that to help our people.