Arizona's beauty is embodied by its vast and ancient history, larger-than-life adventurers, and diverse landscapes. Arizona's diverse communities and landscapes include real people coming together to create companies, make products, and reimagine the future.
In effort to build the workforce pipeline and bridge the skills gap Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC) and Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) are collaborating with Edge Factor to support innovative career exploration and workforce development. ABEC and CFA understand the importance of helping students in middle school to make informed decisions about their education path as they prepare to transition into highschool. Exposing them to various careers and training opportunities, while also demonstrating how what they are learning in school will be useful in future careers.
As Dr. James K. Zaharis, Ed.DExecutive Vice President, at ABEC said, “Prevention is always better and less costly than remediation” and that is why we work on education solutions to champion for our students' futures and strengthen our economic competitiveness."
Exploring Careers at a Young Age
Originally Arizona career exploration platforms were geared at high school students. Now ABEC and CFA are working to bring career exploration tools to younger students. The benefits of exploring careers at an early age are monumental. Along with making connections between what they are learning and how it impacts real world careers, early career exploration for students makes learning more relevant, raises their aspirations and it increases their confidence as they learn more about how their talents and abilities can impact their community.
As part of the Action Agenda for Arizona’s Future, CFA is not only investing more into the education of future leaders but also creating more opportunities for career development and training. This is evident with the Pipeline AZ platform and their partnership with Edge Factor.
Edge Factor uses the power of cinematic storytelling to take students and job-seekers on a journey from "I have no idea what I want to do with my life" to discovering industries, careers, CTE and postsecondary programs, Soft Skills, STEAM and local opportunities. We have criss-crossed Arizona and beyond to produce thousands of videos and interactive activities that highlight every industry and deliver these tools through our platform.
Pipeline AZ allows students and job-seekers to explore careers, industries and education programs. While students learn about careers and various industries, they can also take an interest assessment to match their skills and interests with career options.
Edge Factor and My Future AZ are some of the tools being used to help students and parents imagine the possibilities and start planning earlier than ever before as Districts look for unique ways to meet the requirements for the Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP).
It Begins with a Great Story
Edge Factor tells stories of individuals who are using their hands and minds to push back the edge of what’s possible. Every life is a story. The people behind each Arizona-made company have stories and career opportunities worth sharing. Stories of real life people making a difference in their communities, who are building ecosystems and paving the way for the next generation of innovators, manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
Approximately 18 months ago, the world changed and class trips were not possible. Edge Factor’s production team went behind closed doors to film Virtual Workplace Experiences. These virtual tours showcase companies and careers, and help students learn more about the tools, equipment, skills and processes involved. The accompanying lesson plans provide educators with additional resources to help a student continue their career exploration within a specific industry sector.
Building off the success of this series, Edge Factor is now making freely available, the all new, Made In Arizona series, featuring some of the incredible companies, stories and careers that were featured in the Virtual Workplace Experiences.
In this video series, students meet real-life people who have launched successful careers like Project Manager Carissa Fitzmaurice from McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., as she shares how working on a diverse team ensures construction projects are completed efficiently and safely.
Visit Edge Factor Arizona Has the Edge page to discover how you can do your part to build the workforce pipeline and bridge the skills gap.
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