Community Members

Celebrating the Unsung Heroes in Skilled Trades

  Edge Factor Team   |     June 11, 2024 |   5 minute read
PA Patrice Barnes Press Conference in St. Catharines

ST. CATHARINES, ON - Edge Factor, a leader in career and workforce development solutions, is proud to celebrate the remarkable "unsung heroes" of the skilled trades and apprenticeships in Ontario while highlighting the continued advancement of the Workforce Excellence Program (WEP) at an event in partnership with Millwrights Local 1007 and Civiconnect.


Larissa Hofman sharing the impact of SDF grant through Edge Factor Workforce Excellence Program


Funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, WEP is now in its third year and has experienced significant growth! This digital toolkit is filled with interactive multimedia tools that inspire and empower youth and adults to discover and pursue rewarding apprenticeship programs and careers in the skilled trades.


“To keep up with our growing province, we need to attract more youth into the skilled trades, which is why our government is working hand-in-hand with labour and industry partners to create new training opportunities,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “By investing in these projects in Niagara Region, we are creating more pathways for young people to start a well-paying career in the skilled trades and build a brighter future for themselves.”


The most notable WEP updates include:

  • Digital Multi-Media Creation: 100+ digital stories and tools highlighting success stories and real-life experiences, inspiring individuals to overcome obstacles.

  • VR 360 Content: Learners of all ages experience a virtual workplace tour at events across the province. 

  • Digital Badges and Monthly Prize Giveaways: Incentivized online learning experience that delivers the stories and tools to learners as they earn a new monthly badge and are entered to win a prize.

  • Community Engagement and Training: Ongoing in-person and virtual events and workshops provide training and support for schools, companies, and service providers to best utilize the tools.

  • Toolkit Language Translations: Breaking language barriers for newcomers to Ontario, we have added subtitles in 20 languages, and the Edge Factor platform can now be translated into 4 languages, further promoting inclusivity and accessibility in workforce development!


“We have been honored to share powerful stories of women, youth, people who are uniquely abled, Indigenous community members, diverse people groups, and immigrants in successful apprenticeships and trades,” said Jeremy Bout, Founder and President of Edge Factor. “These stories serve as a beacon of inspiration, especially for those in similar walks of life, to realize they too can overcome barriers to launch rewarding pathways that provide for their families and impact our communities.”


The powerful real-life stories included in the WEP toolkit showcase career pathways, technical skills, and soft skills with people on job sites in Ontario communities, specifically in Brantford, Bruce-Grey, Hamilton, Sudbury, Niagara, and Simcoe. These tools serve as a testament to the dedication, passion, and skills that form the backbone of these communities. To help further answer the question, “What opportunities exist in my community?” WEP provides digital profiles and regionalized community touchpoints that share insights on apprenticeships, companies, and local pathway opportunities in the 6 target communities. 


“We have heard from young people and students in the community that their only pathway to success is through university. It’s time we break that stigma. The skilled trades open the door to a future with a six-figure salary – all without tuition debt,” said Patrice Barnes, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “We’re especially proud to support these local projects in Niagara Region because we know careers like these are more than a paycheque; they offer young people hope and self-confidence.”


To share updates on this WEP project and unveil the latest digital tools, Edge Factor participated in an event on June 10, 2024, with the Millwrights Local 1007 and Civiconnect for leaders in government, industry, and education.


About Edge Factor and the Workforce Excellence Program

As a leader in workforce and career development solutions, Edge Factor uses the power of storytelling to inspire people to explore, prepare, and connect on their Career Journey. Our platform offers schools, families, companies, and service providers access to a vast library of films, videos, activities, lesson plans, badges, and career tools. Through our partnerships, events, and film shoots, Edge Factor enriches our multimedia library with inspiring stories, career content, and gamified learning experiences. Answering national workforce challenges with community-based solutions, Edge Factor brings together organizations and families to support learners of all ages in achieving their career goals and launching rewarding pathways.


For a deeper dive into this initiative, visit and begin your career exploration journey today.

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