Sheila A. Perkins began working as the Program Manager of Contract Services for the Vocational Services Department of the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. She monitored five (5) service contracts through the federal government and City of Chicago working with several organizations throughout the state. The contracts include: Great Lakes Naval Base, McHenry VA Clinic, General Services Administration (2), Construction Research & Engineering Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign and Midway Airport.
In April 2006, Sheila was promoted to Director of Employment Services for the Chicago Lighthouse. Her duties now include the overall supervision of the following departments – Intake, Placement, Youth Activities, Vocational Evaluation, Adaptive Technology, Office Skills and Customer Service Training Programs as well as the Internal component of the organization’s Call Center. In July 2010, she was promoted to VP of Employment Services. She works with each department as they strive to find employment opportunities and place blind and visually impaired individuals in full-time and part-time positions.
Prior to joining the Chicago Lighthouse, Sheila worked for several community-based organizations in her field of Community Development. Her experience covered areas such as economic development, organizational development and family & youth development in various disenfranchised neighborhoods throughout the Chicago area. In the last twelve (12) years, she has worked in the employment and training field assisting low-wage workers obtain & sustain better jobs, and securing living wage positions for those currently unemployed. The ultimate goal of moving clients to the road of economic self-sufficiency has been the major focus of her work.
She received her Bachelors of Science degree from Howard University, Washington D.C. and completed her graduate course work at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md.