Goshen News, Goshen, IN

State News

March 1, 2014

Firm's life-skills training gives workers an Edge

BLUFFTON, Ind. (AP) — Spencer Harris is young and single.

A lot of guys might use that status as an excuse to live for today and let tomorrow be darned. But they aren't Harris.

The 27-year-old Bluffton man recently signed up for a personal finance course being offered free by his employer, Edge Manufacturing Inc.

"Anything that's going to help me better my finances or better my life, I'm all about jumping on the opportunity," Harris said of the class.

Handling money is the topic of one in a series of classes being offered to employees by the Bluffton manufacturer, which sells sturdy plastic and metal baskets to customers in diverse industries. Edge's owner and managers say they have a responsibility to help people succeed.

Doug Wood, PNC's northern Indiana regional president, has met with numerous business leaders over the years, both here and in the Chicago area.

It's uncommon - though not unheard of - for managers to see the workplace as a mission field, the banker said.

"I certainly commend them for doing it," Wood said of Edge's leaders.

A second class Edge offers teaches workers how to draft a résumé, dress appropriately and answer interview questions, Jason Brooks, Edge's sales and marketing manager, told The Journal Gazette (http://bit.ly/NuVkQl ). Company officials realize most employees will move on to other jobs eventually.

"It's teaching them to fish, not just giving them a fish," Brooks said, invoking the adage about enabling a man to feed himself for a lifetime instead of feeding him for just one day.

The third class in the works focuses on choosing friends who are positive influences and spotting red flags that signal a situation is headed in a dangerous direction.

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