By Jeanna Baxter White
“I’m super excited you are all here today to learn about Edge Factor, an innovative online platform to educate and inspire the next generation workforce. This program is going to open the doors for our middle and high school students to discover and explore careers right here in Davie County,” Carolyn McManamy, director of Davie CONNECT, told plant and human resource managers during a luncheon hosted by Davie County Economic Development Commission (DCEDC), DavieCONNECT, and the Davie County Chamber of Commerce.
Next month, Davie County Schools will begin rolling out the innovative workforce development tool which uses high-impact videos and interactive activities to inspire students, parents and job-seekers to pursue career pathways, discover how STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) comes alive in the real world, learn soft skills, and browse local training options, including CTE programs, postsecondary courses, apprenticeships, and other options.
All of the multimedia content Edge Factor creates is distributed through a cloud-based membership platform on edgefactor.com. Through DCS’s contract with Edge Factor, all students at the three middle schools, high school, and early college will be able to go to the organization’s website and set up personal portals which will allow them to explore dozens of career fields through engaging videos that provide a lot of information in a short amount of time and build a profile of the areas they are interested in.
The benefits of Edge Factor will not be limited to the students of Davie County. A Community Hub customized to Davie County will be introduced later this fall and will allow any Davie County resident to create a FREE Edge Factor membership and access collections of high-impact Edge Factor videos that showcase local industries and career pathways.
“The Community Hub gives students and residents access to information about our local businesses as they relate to a particular career,” said McManamy. “It will raise awareness of the wide range of career options available here in Davie County and this will be very beneficial for all of us, but especially our local businesses during their recruiting process.”
Larissa Hofman, VP Edge Factor, attended the meeting to explain Edge Factor, the Community Hub, and how they will benefit area businesses.
“Workforce development is not an easy issue,” Hofman said. “It’s not easy to walk someone, especially a student or parent, through that journey of ‘I have no idea what I want to do with my life’ to ‘now I’ve successfully achieved the skills and training I need to launch a successful career in a local company.’”
“One thing we’ve really learned is that families need the right information at the right time,” she added. “For students and parents to go on that journey of career exploration it sometimes requires some handholding. They aren’t ready to learn about what programs are available postsecondary until they understand what that industry is all about. With Edge Factor, we walk people through a timeline of understanding. We want them to go on a journey of discovery and get excited about what their community has to offer and what their future could look like. Inspiration, exploration, preparation, and connection are at the heart of what we do.”
“The Community Hub will raise awareness of the companies that exist in this area. If I was a student, parent, or jobseeker of any age in Davie County I’d be able to go to edgefactor.com and instantly find information specific to Davie County. We are working with the Davie CONNECT team to create that community directory and listing out all of the businesses which will include your company name, logo and address. The goal is to instantly have a snapshot of local companies. There is no cost to the company, and we are working on adding all of that information in the next couple of weeks.”
While all Davie County businesses will be listed in the community hub, Hofman explained that there are additional benefits for companies that purchase a business membership. Business members can add a full profile of their company, specific career profiles, training opportunities, wages, job listings, and any other desired information. Dashboard analytics allow companies to evaluate their reach.
To learn more about Edge Factor and its role in Davie County visit DavieWorks.com/explore-careers.
DavieCONNECT is a workforce initiative of the Davie County Economic Commission designed to connect businesses to resources and kids to careers and to provide innovative workforce solutions for Davie County. For more information, contact Carolyn McManamy at 336.753.6670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.