Midlands GEAR UP Prepares Students for Future Careers

  Edge Factor Team   |     January 24, 2022 |   7 minute read
South Carolina GEAR UP project partners with Edge Factor

South Carolina is known for its beaches, golf courses, and historic districts. As you travel from the beachfront towns you’ll discover the natural beauty and rolling hills of the Midlands Region of South Carolina and the incredible people and companies that make up this beautiful state that have stories worth telling. 


Edge Factor partnered with the Midlands GEAR UP Project Director Zipporah Little to create high impact media and tools that highlight amazing careers and training opportunities across the Midlands region. Together, through the GEAR UP grant, we are equipping students, parents and families, educators, businesses, and workforce development leaders with engaging multimedia resources that will inspire and build the workforce of tomorrow!


The Midlands Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant’s vision is for all students to be academically, socially, and financially prepared to enter and complete the college of their choice. This grant provides services for students until high school graduation and into their first year of college. The goals of the grant are to: 


  • Increase the academic performance and preparation for postsecondary education.

  • Increase the rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary education.

  • Increase students’ educational expectations and family knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation and financing. 

These goals are achieved by providing various services including academic support, mentoring, college visits, counseling/advising, job shadowing, educational field trips, summer programs, family events, college prep workshops, and financial aid advising.


Edge Factor and Midlands’ GEAR UP Project


Midlands Has the Edge


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 to discover industries, careers, Careers in Technology Education and postsecondary programs, Soft Skills, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Medical and local opportunities. 


As part of this GEAR UP project, Edge Factor, in partnership with Richland School District Two, GEAR UP, Calhoun County Public School District , Laurens County School District 55 & District 56, we accomplished the following:


  1. We filmed local Virtual Workplace Experiences, Made in South Carolina, and Career Profile videos at 6 organizations within the GEAR UP partnership communities: Husqvarna, The Max Family Entertainment Center, MUSC Health, Edventure Children’s Museum, TRANE Technologies, and South Carolina Governor's School for Agriculture at John de la Howe

  2. We created a Midlands Has the Edge community landing page to share all of the media we created in the Midlands and showcase School Profiles and Training Program Profiles, Company Profiles, links to community websites, and more career exploration content.

  3. We equipped Edge Factor Premium Memberships for Postsecondary Schools in the Midlands region, including Claflin University, Coastal Carolina University, Greenville Technical College, Lander University,  Piedmont Technical College, University of South Carolina Upstate, University of South Carolina, Columbia, Winthrop University and Presbyterian College. We created School Profiles on each of these schools, and 5 Training Program Profiles with information and links to some of the top programs they offer, for students and families to explore.

  4. Edge Factor’s team of educators aligned Edge Factor content to the Career Pathways South Carolina Curriculum, making it as easy as possible for educators to learn how this media can move their students’ learning forward and meet curriculum standards.

  5. We equipped schools with a virtual “Take Our Kids to Work Day” plug-and-play event for the months of November and December 2021 (details below).

The Virtual Workplace Experience videos filmed by Edge Factor provide students with virtual field trip videos that 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 and guided activities to help students continue their career exploration and share meaningful discussions. 


“We have criss-crossed North America to produce thousands of videos and interactive activities that highlight every industry and deliver these tools through our platform. We all know that in 2020, the world changed, and class trips and in-person events were not possible,” said Larissa Hofman, Vice President of Edge Factor. “Edge Factor’s production team goes behind closed doors to film Virtual Workplace Experiences and provide virtual field trips for students to discover what it’s like to work in real world industries and companies - and we were thrilled to be able to film this series in partnership with 6 locations in the Midlands Region of South Carolina.” 


Additionally, in November and December 2021, Midlands GEAR UP partnered with Edge Factor to host virtual “Take Our Kids to Work Day” events in classrooms across their region. This virtual event featured an inspirational Keynote presentation by President and Founder of Edge Factor, Jeremy Bout, Virtual Workplace Experience videos, and Career Profile videos filmed locally, that taught students what a “day in the life” looks like in specific job positions, such as Environment Engineer, IT Manager, Administrative Assistant, Patient Access Specialist, Sous Chef, Welder/Fabricator, 5 Axis Programmer and more. 


“The fact that Edge Factor came to OUR community to showcase OUR workforce opportunities, blew me away! Now, our students, job-seekers, parents, and community members have first-hand information and inspiring videos that highlight local companies and careers,” said Midlands GEAR UP, Project Director, Zipporah Little. “Edge Factor truly values meeting the needs of our students and staff. They are easy to work with, efficient, informative, and produce high quality content. It is because of Edge Factor that we continue to inspire our first-year college students to explore rewarding careers using a personalized platform.  I am extremely happy with the product and service they provided.” 


Building off the success of the media created in the Midlands, Edge Factor is now making freely available, the all new, Made in South Carolina series on our YouTube channel, featuring some of the incredible companies, stories and careers that were featured in the Virtual Workplace Experiences.  


In the Made in South Carolina video series, students meet real-life people who have launched successful careers like Dr. Johnny Murdaugh Jr. and Maintenance Supervisor Johnny Murdaugh Sr. at The Max Family Entertainment Center! In that episode, you can discover the fun activities they provide for all ages and explore how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math come alive on-the-job.



Visit Edge Factor Midlands Has the Edge page to get an overview of Edge Factor’s media and tools, browse careers in various industries such as, manufacturing, hospitality & tourism, healthcare, cyber security, education, agriculture and more. Students and families can also explore the local post-secondary opportunities with the schools that have Edge Factor Premium Memberships. 



Learn more about Edge Factor 

If you are interested in learning more about what an Edge Factor membership can unlock, create your free account or register for an upcoming live webinar


Questions? Feedback? Contact us.

Email: or message us on the Live Chat. We’d love to hear from you.

Popular Post

Edge Factor Launches New Event Tour: Faces of the Future

Explore Careers in Hospitality with New Edge Factor Media

Empowering the Brantford-Brant Community to Attract Young People to the Trades

Edge Factor Live at Skills Ontario Competition 2023