META24 & Electric Conduit ConstructionMETA24 is a workforce initiative designed to help break the cycle of dependence through
entrepreneurship, community development, and manufacturing.
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, companies and community centers to build space for student teams to design and create enterprises that pique their interest. From fashion and graphics labs, to construction, fiber optics and robotics, personal care and service oriented businesses, META develops multi-level 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. 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 level have 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.
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|
| Groups |
Goals / Qt
Intake Level/Training Time
| Case Management|
High Workready Skills - 2 to 3 Months
Evening Fiber Lab
Early Afternoon Lab
Once a Week
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.
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.