Rewind 10 years. Working as a 5 axis machinist, I was making cutting tools for a company in Buffalo. Our clients used out tools on parts going to space, Medical implants, racecars and motorbikes. Every morning I got up, pulled into work and would use my head, my hands as well as the latest advanced manufacturing technology to work on products that were being used by people across the country. I’d go home to my wife and 5 kids with a nice paycheque in hand and a feeling of accomplishment. But when I would tell my friends and family about how proud I was of the team of manufacturers I was working with, how we problem solved and innovated or how hard I pushed my 5 axis that day, I was met with the same look: blank stares. They didn’t get it! They didn’t know what a 5 axis was. Heck, they didn’t even know what a CNC machine was! “Manufacturing? Isn’t that all overseas?” Facepalm.
Since then, I have led a team on a mission to showcase the modern world of manufacturing… to show real life people using cutting edge technology to push back the edge of what’s possible. To turn those blank stare responses into wide-eyed, awe-struck expressions with ear to ear smiles. To captivate audiences with stories of kickass manufacturers and machines to accomplish extraordinary feats.
That’s the heart of Edge Factor. We tell stories of manufacturers who are changing lives and building the world and then we create resources based off those stories that highlight careers, make STEM relevant, show technology in action, provide hands on 3D printing and CNC machining projects and tools to interact with students and parents. By merging our love for manufacturing with our passion for storytelling, cinematic film making and educational content development, we equip teachers and industry leaders with resources to INSPIRE students and parents.
It’s been an amazing journey. We are witnessing a resurgence in communities and schools whose manufacturing programs have been struggling. We see students signing up for machining classes and apprenticeship programs after watching an Edge Factor film at an event. We hear parents say “This is perfect for my kid. This is the career path they should be going into. I can’t wait to share this with them.” And when we hear things like that, our blood starts pumping faster. We know we are on the right track with this! Change is happening and classrooms are being filled because these stories resonate with people. Manufacturing technology and careers are stinkin’ awesome and we feel super blessed to be able to share these stories and provide powerful interactive resources.
I want to personally invite you 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 and help provide solutions to inspire students, recruit the next workforce, bring CTE and skills trades into the limelight, reach parents and make STEM learning concepts relevant. If you are feeling a spark or you’re thinking “This is what my community needs”, we want to hear from you! Reach out to us and let’s start collaborating to impact and mobilize your community.