Education is a cornerstone of economic development, and as such, Cabarrus Economic Development is doing its part to inspire the next generation of advanced manufacturers and ensure the county’s future workforce has exceptional leaders in manufacturing.
Working with its funding partners, the Gene Haas Foundation and Centralina Workforce Development Board, Cabarrus EDC helped secure two grants for the 2016-17 academic year that give educators from Jay M. Robinson High School access to eduFACTOR, a membership-based online content library that promotes manufacturing careers.
The online resource library includes story-driven lesson plans, interactive activities, cinematic films and TV series, technology and career pathway videos, CNC and 3D printing projects, virtual field trips, interactive classroom and STEM activities.
“In Cabarrus County Schools, we are always looking for creative ways to guide students to their chosen career field. Resources like eduFACTOR are vital in that pursuit,” said Rusty Parker, Director of Career & Technical Education for Cabarrus County Schools. “The teachers at Jay M. Robinson High School incorporate the activities from eduFACTOR into their daily lesson plans. It has become a valuable resource for them to use in the classroom.”
David Hollars, executive director of Centralina Workforce Development, said the board supports the EduFactor and what it does to prepare the next generation of talent for employers in Cabarrus County and the region. "Our board sees EduFactor as a key element in assisting our schools and youth service providers with the real world concepts regarding businesses and how great jobs and great futures await those who take part in EduFactor activities,” he said.
While the skills students will learn through eduFACTOR resources can apply to most career choices, the tool will primarily assist Jay M. Robinson’s counselors, STEM and Career and Technical Education teachers and the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing & Automation.
“These grants help give students the chance to make the most of their talents, which, in turn, helps build our future workforce to grow the Cabarrus County economy and keep our community moving forward,” said LeeAnn Nixon, Cabarrus EDC’s existing industry project manager, who helped coordinate the grant application process with the Gene Haas Foundation and Centralina Workforce Development.
Parker added, “We appreciate the business partners that we have in Cabarrus County. The support we receive, from organizations like the Gene Haas Foundation and Centralina Workforce Development, helps us provide the real-world learning experience that students need.”
Nixon noted that the grants are just one example of the successful partnership Cabarrus EDC has with the region’s education system, local businesses and industries. “We work together to modify curriculums and develop programs to meet the future needs of Cabarrus County and create a skilled workforce that is well adapted to industry changes,” she said.