Career development is a lifelong process of learning, improving skills and advancing along a career path. From Kindergarten to retirement, this lifelong process of learning, and discernment brings us closer to our ideal job, skillset and lifestyle.
We all have a role to play in building the workforce pipeline. Building the future workforce is going to take strategic planning and collaboration between workforce development leaders, business leaders, educators, and parents.
Edge Factor’s smart platform meets you where you are at
Today, Edge Factor delivers content for grades 5-12+ and job-seekers. Our Team is developing, filming, and publishing content for Kindergarten - grade 4! Our library of age-appropriate career exploration tools with learning outcomes that intersect every age group is one of the core components in our "K-Grey" strategy.
Edge Factor's tools are categorized into 4 phases of the Career Journey: Inspiration, Exploration, Preparation, and Connection. It’s what we call the IEPC Journey. No matter what age or stage you're at in your career development Edge Factor’s multimedia tools will help you get inspired to explore careers, prepare for the next step in your lifelong journey of learning and connect you with training and career opportunities in your community.
Edge Factor is building a platform that meets you where you are at and moves you forward in a customized experience. Whether you are an educator, student, job-seeker or business leader, we’ll have a series of tools for you:
- If you are teaching Kindergarten, we’ll have a series of age appropriate tools for you to engage and entertain your students.
- If you are teaching Grade 9, Edge Factor has a series of tools that can help you take students on an age appropriate, IEPC Journey.
- If you are a job seeker, we can help you explore new horizons as you go on your own personal IEPC journey.
- If you’re a business leader, we help you understand how to work with your community and become woven into the IEPC journey that introduces your brand in the age appropriate IEPC journey students are taking.
- If you are nearing retirement and want to give back, we connect you and your expertise with schools and help you give back to the industry where you have worked as a professional for so many years.
A Quantum Leap in Technology
So…You may be asking, how can such a complex situation be made simple enough for your community? The Edge Factor platform is taking a quantum leap in technology, utilizing the power of AI and Machine Learning to deliver unparalleled workforce development solutions. The launch of Version 8.1 of the Edge Factor platform will help learners of all ages, from K-Grey, map their Career Journey like never before and discover the incredible opportunities their community has to offer. The Learner’s Journey Map is a personalized learning experience for every user, based on where they live, what they are interested in, what they’re good at and what they have been able to achieve in the platform.
Preparing Kindergarten Students for Jobs
Now, we’re not suggesting that students in early learning choose their career. However, STEAM learning in the early years can seem far removed from career exploration and it doesn’t have to be. Students in grades K - 6 can be inspired to explore careers in diverse industries and begin to learn about the hard & the soft skills required to succeed in those careers.
“Kindergarten presents the most versatile platform to teach children about different career paths,” said Early Childhood Educator Paola Lecanda from Ontario. Paola shared how she uses every opportunity to connect students' interests and talents with careers by introducing ‘Community Helpers’. Community Helpers include introducing students as young as Kindergarten to members of the community who have launched successful careers in various industries from firefighters to business leaders.
Intermediate Students Can Solve Real World Problems
During the intermediate years from Grades 7 -10 students can start to explore careers by engaging in solving problems. They need to engage with topics they care about and begin to explore the careers attached to those topics. Educators can help students discover options available by introducing them to opportunities that spark their interest and expand on their talents, but when business leaders work with educators to create opportunities for students the possibilities are endless.
In the Edge Factor series, Reality Redesigned business executives from NIMS, CNC Software and Modern Machine Shop worked with schools in Randolph County, North Carolina to provide students with a challenge to ‘redesign reality.’ In a race against the clock, 3 teams of students compete to plan, design and construct a sign for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's auto body shop. They were pushed to their limits and had to present and defend their designs to an expert panel of judges. It was an experience they’ll not soon forget and the transferable skills will be with them for years to come.
What if I still have no idea what I want to do with my life?
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" all the way to, “I have browsed the options, made informed decisions, and launched a local training and career pathway!” The high impact media, lesson plans, and interactive activities empower students and job-seekers to discover industries, careers and postsecondary programs.
Through the advanced years of learning between Grade 11 and Postsecondary, job-seekers & students need to have been introduced to the training and career opportunities available as they make decisions for continued studies or prepare to enter the workforce. Edge Factor connects educators and parents with local training programs and companies. Community workforce development leaders are given the opportunity to showcase their companies to ensure students and job-seekers know about local training and education, college programs, apprenticeships and careers available at local companies.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
One of the key elements in the Edge Factor V8 platform is the personalized journey map that is free to all of our users. Every learner will be able to review the things they have earned and learned in a format that is available to them at no cost, no matter whether they earned the achievement inside the Edge Factor platform, a Partner’s Interoperable Platform D2L Brightspace or Clever , or in their school’s Learning Management System (Canvas or Moodle).
Just as student’s and job-seekers develop their skills and learn to market themselves to potential employers, companies also need to create strategic recruitment plans. Recruiting new talent is going to take strategic planning that includes building the company brand, attracting the next workforce to replace those who are retiring. Executives also need to include supporting and enhancing the mentoring capabilities of senior staff to ensure they pass on the knowledge to the next generation.
Career development is a key recruitment and retention tool for any company who wants to hire the best possible candidates and retain the talented staff they have. The present and future workforce want more than stability and familiarity, they have aspirations to make a difference in the world and they’ll want to know their employer is willing to invest in them.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” isn’t a question for just the children any more. When asking an older student, job-seeker or employee this question, we rephrase it to say, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” An employer seeking to retain this employee long term, needs to be able to follow up with how they will help them achieve their goal by providing training and growth opportunities. Lifelong staff learning should be a priority for every employee and company – from recruitment to retirement.
Edge Factor has created a series of videos on Technical Hard Skills that provide helpful explanations of the skills, processes, tools, equipment and safety awareness required in various industries and careers. The Soft Skills library includes employability skills, financial literacy and soft skills on the job that are relevant to any career or industry.
We have a workforce development problem…be part of the solution.
Every community is unique. Edge Factor partners with Community Leaders to understand the workforce development challenges their community stakeholders face, and create strategic, integrated solutions and action plans, catered to meet their needs.
You are invited to be part of this and do something in your community. Our greatest passion is partnering with schools and businesses in communities to understand the challenges they are facing. Then we integrate them into the Edge Factor Platform to inspire students, recruit the next workforce, bring technical education and skilled trades into the limelight, reach parents and make STEAM learning concepts relevant.
Want to learn more?
See it for yourself! Book a live demo with one of our team members. Whether you are a current Premium Edge Factor member, looking to book a training session, or if you're considering purchasing a membership, we'd love to demo the platform for you.
Questions? Feedback? Contact us.
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