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Workforce Development

  /  Workforce Development

META24 & Electric Conduit Construction

META24 is a workforce initiative designed to help break the cycle of dependence through
entrepreneurship, community development, and manufacturing.
Electric Conduit Construction training a student

Workforce Development

We have helped thousands of students learn valuable transferable skills while launching entrepreneurial businesses, retail store fronts, and training students for jobs in a range of professions all over the midwest. META stands for Make Enterprise Teach and Achieve and its largest base is Chicago. We started and continue to work out of the 37th Ward in the Austin Community.

Why it Works

META partners with schools and community centers and builds large maker spaces for creating and designing items that pique the interests of students. From fashion and graphics labs, to construction and robotics, gardening to personal care, to service oriented businesses, we train multi levels of skills in various ways.

Owning the process, the products, the store, the experience is theirs, which is why the depth of the training goes beyond traditional workforce development. As the chart below reads, depending on the competencies students come with, our data provides us with intentional paths for scaling up the program. We know how long they need to manage both the expectations of a career along with their life circumstances before we recommend them for placement (not sure what this sentence means?) . The results have been transformative and life changing.

  • Every year META24 matriculates up to 60% of its few hundred participants into the third of five workforce levels. Participants who reach the third levelheaded a track record of obtaining and keeping employment for six months and longer.
  • We serve hundreds of current youth and young adults from adjudicated, homeless, drop out, opt out, and general populations accumulating in over 20,000 transferable work-placed skills over the past five years. All supported by our learning management system.
  • We have generated over $ 2.5 million dollars worth of wealth through immediate post-secondary job placement.
  • We work with several larger organizations who also do workforce development but require the metacognitive approach we provide. We have the capacity to serve nearly 500 additional students in our main facility. See chart below.

Electric Conduit Partnership

META24’s partnership with Electrical Conduit Construction is a community birthed initiative, cultivated by the desire to help provide meaningful work for Chicago’s neediest young adults. Tim Pfleeger, Greg Preisch and Dr. Flavian Prince met in Alderman Mitts’ office by chance. The result has been a two year process in providing meaningful jobs, like electrical apprenticeships, for West and South side community men and women, and the outcome has changed several lives in the process.

2019 Signing day with Electric Conduit Construction, Alderman Emma Mitts, Jamil Muhammad, Dr. Flavian Prince, Local 9, and five lives that will never be the same.
2019 Signing day with Electric Conduit Construction, Alderman Emma Mitts, Jamil Muhammad, Dr. Flavian Prince, Local 9, and five lives that will never be the same.

Impact of Fiber Optic Cable Splicing

ECC built a fiber splicing lab for young adults, that, without training face certain poverty. There is a demand for workers with these skills. The fiber splicing lab provides an in house representation of hope following the META life skills training model. ECC is providing a pathway to dignity. Dignity resulting from the stability that graduates of the ECC/ META pipeline have experienced in having their own homes, cars, and peace of mind. As they fuse two pieces of glass together in their neighborhood lab, a true community partnership has been formed.

Fiber Lab Intake Process: 3 months to 2 years.

Currently, twenty individuals are attending or have gone through various levels of the fiber splicing training in the past year.

● Pre-Training: META24

● META24 Core Assessments

● Intro Course – Taught by ECC’s John Hernandez

● On-Site Observation – ECC Job shadowing.

● Advanced META24 Workforce Training

● Advanced Fiber Courses – Smaller Ratio

● Fiber On-Site Assessment

● Final Review – Job Placement

We can scale the current fiber training to accommodate more students in three differentiated groupings. We have the equipment, the space, and the materials to scale up immediately.

 Fiber Splicing Scaling
Goals / Qt

Intake Level/Training Time


 Case Management

Once Hired

Tier 1
10 -15


High Workready Skills - 2 to 3 Months


Evening Fiber Lab


Every Month


Tier 2

Medium Workready Skills - 6 Mos to 1 Year


Early Afternoon Lab
Advanced META/FIber


Once a Week

Tier 3

Low Workready Skills - 1 to 2 Years

School Day Lab -
Introductory META/Fiber



Our collective vision is for the young adults that now have meaningful careers, to come back and train the next generation of workers. We have a positive circle of development that is sustained by the people who are impacted by this process. Currently we have graduates still living in the community, working in the community, and now mentoring others in the program. We are grateful to Electric Conduit Construction and the City of Chicago for helping to create this pipeline that will continue to change the lives of many in our most needy communities.

Electric Conduit Wrok Examples

CPS Fiber & 5G

Chicago Public Schools will be placing 5G in all of their buildings. We would like an opportunity to bid on the proposal. Electric Conduit Construction and META24 are working side by side to ensure that this work can be fulfilled with former Chicago Public School students as well as current City Colleges of Chicago enrollees as well.


As shown, we have the capabilities to scale and continue to train folks one on one during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Letters of Support

Letter from Electric Conduit Construction
Olive Harvey
Local 9 IBEW
Fiber Optic