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Kate Lee

South Bend Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director of Education & Workforce
Kate Lee is the executive director of workforce & education for the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she works to establish and strengthen relationships between businesses, educators, students, and community organizations to create a strong, consistent pipeline of workforce talent for the South Bend Region. Kate joined the Chamber in 2014 to lead the development of INTERN South Bend Region, a program that encourages businesses to increase internship opportunities and designs summer programming to create connections that help retain and attract young talent. Working with industry and education partners, she coordinated the 2014 launch of MFG Day programming in St. Joseph County, which continues to introduce high school students to local employers and raise awareness of manufacturing career opportunities.  She is currently working with industry and education partners to build sector partnerships and pathways focused on manufacturing, information technology, healthcare, and other high-demand career opportunities in our region. Kate’s background includes serving as director of client and community relations for PNC Bank’s Northern Indiana region and 18 years in healthcare marketing and fundraising, working for St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Center for Hospice. She has developed and managed special events of all sizes, led efforts to create a strategic philanthropic investment plan and created successful partnerships with other organizations throughout her career. Kate earned her degree in journalism from Ball State University and holds a Certificate of Fundraising Management from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.Kate is a member of the South Bend|Elkhart Regional Partnership Education & Workforce Committee, founding and advisory council member of Ready to Grow St. Joe and has served on the South Bend Community School Corporation CTE Advisory and marketing committees and the South Bend Education Foundation board. Kate completed the ACCE Fellowship for Education Attainment in 2016, which brings together Chamber professionals from across the country to share best practices and input as they develop individual regional action plans for workforce and education, and participates in several regional and state-level groups focused on connecting education and training to workforce needs. (Indiana Talent Networks, Exemplary Pathways Council, WIOA Partnership) In the fall of 2016, with representatives from the City of South Bend and South Bend Community School Corporation, she participated in the National League of Cities Promoting Postsecondary and Workforce Success Leadership Academy. She also serves on the board of St. Margaret’s House, a day shelter for women and children that empowers women to open the door to new opportunities.