Leadership Community

Mayor’s Employer Advisory Council (MEAC) is a voluntary organization chartered in April 2018 and launched in June 2018. It was conceived by the Mayor of the City of Evanston as a way to bring local employers and Evanston Township High School (ETHS) and District 65 middle school into closer alignment. ETHS graduates 170-200 students per year who do not go to a four-year college after graduation. MEAC aims to ensure that these students have a plan after high school. MEAC has 146 members representing 65 employers covering all career pathway sectors, six education organizations, including Oakton College, ten local not-for-profit organizations, the City of Evanston, and four local and state politicians.

The MEAC goals are:

  • Develop sustainable career pathways with local employers for ETHS students not planning to attend a four-year college upon graduation.
  • Facilitate the pivot of the school mantra from College for Everyone to Preparation for the Rest of Your Life.
  • Support career awareness programs in the D65 middle school to promote a successful transition to ETHS

Lead Intermediary Organization

Mayor’s Employer Advisory Council (MEAC)

Regional Focus

The boundary of Evanston Township High School District 202 (grades 9-12) and Evanston/Skokie District 65 (grades K-8)

Areas of Expertise

  • Employer engagement
  • Work-based learning
  • Convening stakeholders

Prioritized Focus Areas

  • Construction
  • Health Sciences
  • IT/Cyber Security
  • Manufacturing

Key Successes

  • Sparked the development of the ASPIRE program with Endeavor Health (formerly Northshore University Health System). This fully funded internship and job shadow program provides a pipeline of health science students into the Evanston Hospital location every year. It has been so successful that Endeavor Health has expanded the program to their Highland Park hospital in Lake County.
  • ETHS is investing $1.2 Million in a health science facility to support CNA/BNA certificate completion upon graduation. Northwestern Medicine, Endeavor Health, and Oakton College are partners. The facility will be complete before the 2024-5 school year starts.
  • Established two student pipeline programs with two local employers:
    • S&C Electric, Manufacturing
    • The Mather Senior Living (the “Evolve” program)
  • Initiated Aviation Career Day at ETHS, which has attracted over 1,000 students, teachers, and administrators to showcase careers in aviation.
  • Expanded MEAC employer membership from 51 employers to 65 employers since its inception
  • Initiated the paid ETHS Spring Job Shadow program, which provided 57 ETHS sophomores, juniors, and seniors with real workplace experiences in the spring of 2023.
  • Sparked the creation of the Workforce Development Department in the City of Evanston. This department has initiated the ConnectEVANSTON job/career program based on the UpSquad program platform. The program targets the 18+ population in Evanston who are seeking better jobs and careers.

2-Year Goals

  • Enlisting MEAC roster members to expand work-based learning experiences by increasing ETHS student field trips to seven a year.
  • Introduce the State-approved learn-and-earn apprenticeship program to the employer roster.
  • Grow job shadow participation with MEAC roster members to 70 students.
  • Collaborate with the Northwestern football stadium construction – this is an $800 million project in Evanston that includes tearing down the old stadium and building a new state-of-the-art stadium. This is a union contractor project. MEAC will:
    • Bring at least four construction hardhat career labor unions to ETHS to create a pipeline for students to enter one of many labor unions that will be on site.
    • Bring the lead contractor (Turner Construction) and major sub-contractors into ETHS to set up programs for recruiting and training ETHS graduates for construction careers that do not require a four-year college degree.
  • Lay the groundwork for a possible aviation curriculum in the ETHS Arts and Innovation Department (formerly the CTE Department) using the AOPA STEM curriculum program.
  • Support the new City of Evanston workforce development program (Evanston WorkforceCONNECT) by enrolling MEAC employer roster members.

Community Updates

Evanston Places 35 Summer Interns

The Evanston Township High School (ETHS) iKit Summer Internship Program places graduating seniors with local employers in ten-week paid internships related to their career interests.

Evanston’s Job Shadow Program Doubles

This year, 56 students are participating, with 20 employers hosting students, doubling the participation from last year for both students and employers.

2022 Work-Based Learning in Evanston

MEAC, in partnership with Evanston Township High School (ETHS) is currently recruiting students and employers for the iKit Spring Job Shadow Program and the iKit

MEAC: Growing Summer Internships

The Evanston iKit Summer Internship Program featuring twelve-week paid internships has kicked off with sixteen interns going into local employer locations starting in mid-June. Three