It is pretty difficult these days to find someone who does not have a NetFlix, YouTube or Hulu account. They are gateways not only for entertainment but also a good resource to learn about different cultures than our own, in the instances of “how to” videos, reality programming (well, some of it) and documentaries. Now, there is a network of programming online for the manufacturing industry, MFG Day & the Made in America movement similar to these platforms called Edge Factor.
The introduction video to Edge Factor is a great window into what they do. It starts with the point of view of the parent, the educator and the employer. It all focuses on how manufacturing jobs are the perfect middle ground for the frustrated parent who paid for a child’s education who does not have a job in that career field, while the employer gets skilled workers, and the educator can get the resources they need to teach in this realm.
The Founder of Edge Factor Jeremy Bout was a typical high school graduate who didn’t quite know what he wanted to do. What was atypical about him was that he experimented with manufacturing by trying out a five-axis machine. He said the experience changed his life significantly.
In an interview with Shop Floor Automations, Jeremy spoke about how the first piece he ever built with a machine set him on a path that would change his life, as well as the lives of others. For Disney, it was all started by a mouse, and for Jeremy, it was all started by an end mill.
“A standard, four flute end mill which looks so simple really became a catalyst for just recognizing that everything is made in using that one tool. Boy oh boy, you can make an awful lot of different parts [with it]. The diversity of things that an end mill can create is shocking and astounding, so for me, the end mill was a gateway to a much, much bigger journey in life.”
Read more after the page break below!
The goal of Edge Factor is to make sure young people realize that they have opportunities they may not have considered previously in the manufacturing sector. It started with one story, and now, their library has over 40 films with a deep library of accompanying videos and interactive resources available.
Edge Factor can be broken down into three types of programming. There is EduFACTOR – an educational platform for career pathways, technology and for teachers to talk to students and parents. There is Edge Factor Live – with over 700 live events covered so far with manufacturing resources. Finally, there is EF Agency – it takes a regional approach with organizations, communities and economic development groups for local manufacturing industries.
As far as new projects on the horizon, other than a reality TV themed program called “Reality Redesigned,” there is also a documentary from Edge Factor coming soon called “Masters of Resonance.” The film has many cool moments with celebrities, but one interview in particular stood out to Jeremy.
“If I had to kind of pick that catalyst moment, definitely it had to be with Neil Peart, the drummer of RUSH,” Jeremy said. “His statement was a pretty major one for me, because when I started the process, I was building a TV show, and after the statement and processing what he said, I realized it was [instead] a film that needed to be completed.”
“What Neil said to me was ‘What could be more transcendent than a musical instrument?’ Really what that meant was that an instrument in the hand of an artist will yield a melody that’s going to become part of the DNA of the listener.”
Jeremy continued – “It’s going to bring me back to the moment when maybe I got my first job, or for another person, that same tune will bring them back to the moment they got married, or maybe when they had their first child, or maybe when their dad died. Who knows where that melody will bring them?”
We at Shop Floor Automations definitely understand the power and importance of musical instruments. One of our clients is a mainstay in the instrument manufacturing business, and all of us have music that resonates with us personally, so we agree on the power of that statement.
With so many news and reality programming shows on the air highlighting similar organizations, Jeremy naturally would love for some publicity from one of these sources. One of Jeremy’s top choices during the interview was Anderson Cooper.
“We love story telling and I guess the attraction to Anderson Cooper for me is because he is often in the thick of a story, and I love that as a story teller,” Jeremy explained. “He also deals with some difficult topics, too. It’s not that I like to be serious because I’m pretty light-hearted, but I like that desire to get in the middle of a good story and also deal with tough issues.”
How does Jeremy feel about the changing landscape of the Made in America movement, with all the political changes going on? He says while he has not directly seen the results of the new administration’s policies, we should be preparing for it.
“There is an understanding that if we already had a problem before…then we fully get the fact that the policies in place will make it more difficult for people to work out of country,” Jeremy explains. “We are going to be in some significant situations where we’re challenged. The challenges of getting enough people to do the work that we already had was huge. If you bring in a lot more of the work back onto American soil, the problem is just going to get deeper.”
Jeremy is confident that if educators and parents use Edge Factor as a tool to reach the new workforce, it will make a significant difference in meeting this challenge. “If you weren’t already engaged with getting the next generation or the next pipeline of workers coming into your plant, you better be focused on it now, because there was already a need before, but the need just got way deeper.”
Visit Edge Factor’s main site at EdgeFactor.com, as well as to find them on Twitter at @EdgeFactorShow.
The Facebook page for their film “Masters of Resonance” is https://www.facebook.com/MastersofRez/.
Do you have a manufacturing shop floor that can use some tuning up? Looking for better OEE, or to see why your machine has so much downtime? Curious about DNC Software or Machine Monitoring? Call us at (877) 611-5825, or contact us on social media. Please be sure to share this article, if you enjoyed it!