In 2016, Manufacturing Connect started taking advantage of Chicago Public School’s work-study program:12th graders on-track-to-graduate high school get a more flexible class schedule to work part-time at local companies.
So far, MC has placed 23 participants in work-study internships with manufacturing companies and all 23 have been offered full-time employment upon high school graduation. 21 of those MC alumni are still working at the companies where they worked their senior year (2 participants turned down those jobs to pursue other opportunities). All are reporting high levels of satisfaction on the job. 14 of them have also completed or are currently enrolled in post-secondary training and education through apprenticeships, college and local trade schools.
Work-study internships, more so than the shorter Spring-Break Internships and summer jobs, provide a more gradual and often more nurturing on-boarding process for the student to get acclimated to their new surroundings, new expectations and norms. Students really appreciate being given the chance to prove themselves after proper instruction.