Lincoln Economic Development Association has launched a partnership with Edge Factor to engage the community. Edge Factor is an online platform that equips educators with real-life stories that spark teachable moments and turnkey learning resources that link to local career opportunities and show how STEAM comes alive in the community.
“About five years ago, we developed the manufacturer’s curriculum in the schools,” John Dancoff, LEDA business development manager said. “We tried to figure out a way to get the kids interested because we knew in eighth grade, they start on their career paths. Edge Factor was started thanks to my predecessor, Kara Brown, who searched for ways to come up with a way to excite eighth graders about a career in manufacturing.”
Brown discovered Edge Factor and brought the group to Lincolnton to present to eighth graders. Later in the evening, the parents would be invited come in for a similar presentation. The production came with an Edge Factor online membership which is a tool teachers can use as well as students. It isn’t just manufacturing, there’s math applications, soft skills, science, engineering and other resources.
With the new partnership LEDA has through Edge Factor, the website, https://www.edgefactor.com/lincolnnc is now free to anyone in Lincoln County. There are videos about what programs Gaston College offers, career training opportunities in the county, local career opportunities and an exploration of different career paths,
“Any one in Lincoln County can go to the website and use what it offers without charge,” Dancoff said. “We’re now hoping that we not only reach regular students but also homeschool students and adults.”
The purpose of the Edge Factor website is to build the community and strengthen local economy. It’s intended that communities use Edge Factor for everything from skill development, to career pathway planning, and connecting with local businesses.