President Kristin Brown welcomed members and guests to the meeting.  There was no Thought for the Day, but the group joined Kristin in reciting the Why We are Rotarians statement.

Announcements
 
Kristin Brown shared some highlights from the previous evening’s Board meeting.  The Club will continue to stream our meetings through the month of December and will solicit feedback prior to a final decision about future streaming at the January 7 Board meeting.   The Board approved the purchase of new Friends of Evanston Lighthouse Rotary badges.   Significantly, our Club has joined Joining Forces for Affordable Housing (JF4AH).  JF4AH is a non-partisan advocacy coalition composed of more than 30 organizations and individuals who support people in need in North Suburban Cook County and the north side of Chicago.  Formed by Connections for the Homeless, JF4AH advocates increasing the number of affordable housing units through construction, preservation, subsidies and innovative solutions – while also advocating improved access to education, training, mental and physical health care, and increased wages.
 
Marisa Naujokas, on behalf of the Holiday Sale committee, thanked everyone for a successful floral and greenery distribution day. Despite the inclement weather and a new vendor/location, club members picked up more than 400 floral items.  The next greenery pick-up date is Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 3:00 -5:00 p.m.  (Note: It is too late to order for a Dec. 5 pick-up!)  There will be another greenery pick-up event on Saturday, Dec. 8, 9:00 – 12:00 p.m. at Clesens.  (Please order by Thursday Dec. 6 if you plan to pick up product on Dec. 8.)   An additional greenery pick-up option has been added - Wednesday, Dec. 12, 3:00-5:00 p.m. (with an associated order deadline of Dec. 10).   Marisa noted that we are about 80% of the way to our goal of $30,000 profit from the sale.  Remember that cash donations boost the bottom line and 100% of monetary gifts support our Club’s efforts.  (Thanks to Ilana Seligman for a particularly generous donation to the sale.)
 
Ken Green explained that orders in the system have exhausted the coming supply of LARGE (whole) hams.  There are still small hams available for distribution on Dec. 15, so please continue selling them!  If you are interested in donating a ham to A Just Harvest, please contact Marisa or Ken this week. 
 
Helen Oloroso updated the group on the Slate of New Officers, which will be voted upon at our weekly (aka Annual) meeting next Tuesday.  Barb Miles has agreed to be Club Treasurer and Susan Prout has committed to take on the Community Service Chair role. At present, two positions remain open – Program Chair and Foundation Treasurer.  The Program Chair plans and oversees the speakers at our weekly meetings.  Two or more Rotarians could easily share this position.  The Foundation Treasurer position could also be shared, dividing the responsibilities for banking and accounting.  To further discuss possible options, please contact Helen as soon as possible.
 
Kathy Tate-Bradish distributed Save the Date flyers for Kabobs and Conversation, a joint event organized by the women of our club and the Noon Club.  On Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., interested women will meet at Kabul House, 2424 Dempster, for a networking and learning event. Kathy encouraged each Rotarian to think of one or two non-Rotarian women to invite.  While not a recruitment event, it would be great to expand our reach to women who don’t look like us!  Please call or email Kathy with questions.   More details to come. 
 
Carol Bild explained that the ELRC Potluck Holiday Party will be held on Sunday, Dec. 16 at the home of Kathy and Bob Bradish (2307 Orrington) from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Sign-up sheets for food and volunteer duties are on the tables.  Hope to see you all there!
 
Joan Borg offered up a same-day (Dec. 4) ticket for the Northwestern-Michigan basketball game, 8:00 p.m. with the proceeds going to our club’s Foundation.   Please contact Joan if interested.
 
Linda Gerber announced that the International Service Committee will meet next Monday morning, Dec. 10 at 7:15 a.m. in the conference room adjacent to the RI Cafeteria.  Our own Eric Schmelling will be the guest speaker, discussing Philanthropy in the New Tax Environment.  The Committee will also be voting on projects in Uganda, Bolivia and Swaziland.   
 
Neil Gambow explained that Exchange Student Gui needs a ride to Crystal Lake this Sunday for the District’s Exchange Students Holiday party.  Please contact Neil if you can help.
 
Roasts & Boasts
 
Zbig Skiba boasted his non-nuclear family.  Zbig’s 23-year old son, adopted at birth, met his birth mother (and her husband) for the first time recently, accompanied by Zbig and his ex-wife.  A potentially fraught or difficult event, this reunion went very well. 
 
Jean Saunders boasted the ELRC & Zbig.  Jean recently attended the ‘24 Hours of Reality’ event at the Civic Center.  The City of Evanston’s Climate Action team presented its plan for mitigating and preparing for the impacts of climate change.  Our Club was cited for its tree-planting efforts (under the leadership of Zbig Skiba) and Rotary International was mentioned as an organization that has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Harold Bauer roasted himself for not giving last week’s Paul Harris Fellow pin ceremony (honoring Kristin Brown, Paul Brown & Ken Green) the preparation and dignity it deserved.
 
Marisa Naukokas acknowledged Scott Kaplan (a “get” for newbie Rotarians seeking sign-offs) for doing our taxes every year.  “We harass you because we love you!”
 
New Member Induction
 
Kristin Brown inducted new member Melinda Muller, sponsored by Gary and Katherine Peterson.  Melinda recently retired from a long career in the finance industry.  Suzy McNamara will be her mentor. 
 
 Melinda Muller, Gary Peterson  & Kristin Brown
 
Member Interview
 
Carol Bild grew up in a Rotary family.  She shared a nostalgic letter that her father, an active Rotarian, had written in the 1970’s to the spouses of his fellow Rotarians -- who were known as “Rotary Anns”.  (As you’ll remember, prior to 1987, women were not allowed to join Rotary.)  The missive urged them to encourage their husbands to attend meetings regularly, complete make-ups and participate in activities – and included very detailed records.  What a different world!
 
What don’t we know about Carol?  Carol’s first job was with VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the domestic Peace Corps. She spent her time working with middle schoolers in the Cabrini Greene housing project to develop a community newspaper.
 
Sergeant Albert Menard, making up for lost time, fined members $1 for no badge, no pin and no sign-in!
 
Program
 
Mayor Hagerty’s Employer Advisory Council
Speaker: Neil Gambow
 
Neil Gambow explained his unlikely journey from new retiree (two years ago) to Chairman of the Mayor’s Employer Advisory Council (MEAC).  
 
The Mayor’s Employer Advisory Council aims to develop sustainable career pathways for those Evanston high school students seeking careers that don’t require a four-year college degree, while providing Evanston businesses with a pipeline of local talent.  
 
Neil cited a number of relevant statistics.  While 81% of ETHS graduates head to college within one year of graduation, 45% of those students fail to graduate in 6 years.   With a class size of approximately 800 students, this means that as many as 450 (57%) of those students are ultimately at risk.  They are likely to experience delayed career and lifetime earnings, mental health issues, and student debt ($11,000 on average) with little hope of repayment.
 
ETHS has a truly phenomenal Career Technology Education (CTE) facility where students can focus on welding, CAD, child care, fashion design, carpentry, robotics, culinary, health science, coding, CNC machine operation, and other areas, but there have been no programs to promote these careers.  Contrary to prevailing sentiments, college is NOT for everyone!
 
What can be done?  Neil and his associates are working to:  bring career options to ETHS, encourage students to take advantage of CTE programs, and convince ETHS to pay attention to these students.  One recent positive development, the State of Illinois will now measure outcomes for all students, not just matriculation to college.
 
Conversations this winter between Neil and ELRC member Lucas Albright about Germany’s successful apprenticeship program sparked some real action.  Representatives of the German American Chamber of Commerce visited ETHS and other partners and politicians were engaged, including Oakton Community College, Symbol Training Institute, the City of Evanston, Larry Suffredin and Robyn Gabel. 
 
In late Feb, Mayor Hagerty asked Neil to chair an Employer Council as part of his Elevate Evanston initiative.  Elevate Evanston is a citywide initiative working to connect individuals with employment opportunities, job training, and career education.
 
In March 2018, with help from the ELRC, a Career Night was held at ETHS featuring careers that don’t require a college education.  In addition to inspiring ‘at risk’ students, these employment programs focus on developing the skills and financial means needed to stay in Evanston.
 
The Mayor’s Employer Advisory Council began with a small planning team, including representatives of the Youth Job Center (YJC), School District 202, Cradle to Career, Oakton College and the Evanston Work Ethic Program.  Chartered on 4/28/18 (with plans to ‘sunset’ in April 2021), the team developed a goal of helping 100 students each year who will not be attending college.  This was soon broadened to include assistance to graduates from 18-24 years who are asking for career help.   MEAC expanded with a Steering Committee, Planning Committee, and representation from educators (ETHS, Oakton), employers, non-profit workforce development organizations and eventually Friends of MEAC. While there are some similar efforts around the state, Evanston is the only place where a Mayor’s council is leading the effort. 
 
On 6/14/18, 45 persons attended the first MEAC meeting at ETHS.  With Dr. Witherspoon’s full support, 21 employers toured (and were impressed with) ETHS’s CTE facilities and 8 stepped up to host site visits for students not planning to attend college.
 
Participating employers include Presence Health, Wintrust, Hilton Orrington, Autobarn, City of Evanston Water Works, S & C Electric, Dimension Design, Northwestern University, North Shore University Health System, and others.  Large employers, paying $13-$30/hour, they offer career paths for those not wanting a college education. 
 
In addition to math and reading competence, employers cite the need for soft skills.  Students must be reliable, hardworking team players who are willing to learn, dress appropriately, look others in the eye and shake hands firmly.
 
MEAC’s second meeting took place on Nov. 28 with 55 attendees.  Assisted by the Youth Job Center, the Council plans to hire a Post-Secondary Career Coordinator to build bridges between employers and ETHS.   The Coordinator will have a full-time office at ETHS, and funding has been secured for two years, beginning in January.  MEAC will meet again in April, 2019. 
 
Where is help still needed?   ETHS has 16 career ‘verticals’ within CTE, under the direction of Shelley Gates.  Many, but not all, tracks have employer support at this time.  Education & Training, Human Services, IT, Law/Public Safety, Arts, AV Tech & Communications are among the areas still seeking business participation. 
 
Next year’s ETHS Career Night (March 14, 2019), dedicated to careers not requiring college, will include employers, post-secondary training providers, the military, workforce development organizations – and, hopefully, ETHS parents … who need to be reminded that college may not be necessary for all!
 
With 88 individuals on their roster, 26 employers, numerous workforce development organizations, and 21 “Friends of MEAC”, MEAC’s future is as bright as the students it’s seeking to help.  
 
What can you do?  Replace the often-judgmental term “vocational training” with “careers that don’t require a college degree.”   And teach young persons you encounter to shake hands firmly!
 
 Neil Gambow & Kristin Brown
 
 
Guests and Milestones
 
Visiting Rotarians
None
 
Other Guests
Nancy Baumberger, wife of Bruce Baumberger
Barry Lundberg, former ELRC member & Holiday Sale champion, guest of Bob Teska
Bill Raspe, guest of Gary Peterson
Melinda Mueller, newest member, guest of Gary Peterson
Bryant Wallace, President of the Chessman and small business owner, guest of Linda Gerber
 
Birthdays
Holly Halliday – Dec. 7
Scott Kaplan – Dec. 7
Pram Chakraborty  - Dec 10
 
Anniversaries
Chris Joyce – 2 years
 
Next Week’s Speaker
 
Allen Kakooza, NGO Supporting Orphans and Foster Families in Uganda
 
Greeters
Marv Edelstein and Nancy Franzon
 
Thought for the Day
Paul Brown
 
Scribe
Chris Joyce
Sponsors