Written by: Kaitlin Horgash

On Friday, the President and Vice President of Edge Factor, Jeremy Bout (P) and Larissa Hofman (VP), held a special meet and greet with the La Porte County Skill Up 3 Network partners at the AK Smith Center Café in Michigan City. During the event, Bout and Hofman spoke about their Edge Factor interactive technology that will help change perception and highlight the changing world of manufacturing.

“The event today was a relationship building opportunity between the stakeholders involved in the La Porte County Skill Up 3 Network and Edge Factor,” said Senior Associate with Employer Engagement at the Center for Workforce Innovations, Sandra Alvarez. “We believe that all career resources, including Edge Factor, need to be understood by students in order to value any career pathway, especially manufacturing careers around La Porte County.”

Mayor Mark Krentz of La Porte and Mayor Ron Meer of Michigan City, along with the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, the Center of Workforce Innovations, economic developers, a consortium of employers, educators, and the Unity Foundation joined together to pursue a $677,000 Skill UP 3 grant from the Department of Workforce Development. In addition, JP Morgan Chase Foundation also provided for this initiative. With the concentration of manufacturing jobs in La Porte County being greater than the region as a whole, it’s believed that the La Porte County Skill Up 3 Network will address the need for change, while utilizing resources when it comes to identifying and securing the education and training to match the needs of La Porte County employers.

Jeremy Bout leads Edge Factor by producing inspiring films and accompanying interactive resources to inspire the next generation of makers. Edge Factor productions merge Hollywood visuals with cinematic storytelling to highlight innovation, teach career pathways, and make STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) relevant in today’s world.

“Success is not a four-year degree,” said Hofman. “The degree may lead to success, but success is about how many people you touch and how much you love your job, and that is where Edge Factor is useful in education.”

Edge Factor will be implemented in La Porte County schools this fall and will remain for the next two years. Every parent, student, and community member will have access to an online platform through Edge Factor, and the journey of choosing a career pathway for students is anticipated to be highly informative and enjoyable.

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