The Institutional Locksmith Association (ILA) held their 2006 convention Oct. 4-7. This year the convention was hosted by Assa Abloy Door Security in New Haven, CT. Institutional locksmiths in attendance were treated to good food, friendly instructors and education classes that were second to none. A complimentary buffet was offered on Tuesday evening for earlybird arrivals.
Classes began on Wednesday with several choices including a bus trip to the nearby SARGENT factory for a tour and classes on SARGENT interchangeable core locks. Other locksmiths preferred to stay at the headquarters hotel and take a Life Safety class conducted by Tom DeMotte. Either choice was a good one.
A complimentary buffet dinner from Assa-Abloy on Wednesday night was followed by an exhibition by a mind reader. Every person in the room was amazed as mental telepathy was apparently used to recite names, dates and dollar bill serial numbers. You had to be there to believe it. This lighthearted presentation was an interesting change of pace from the more serious three days of education.
Thursday sessions included an all-day tour of the Corbin-Russwin factory which is also nearby in Berlin CT. Everyone was impressed with the amount of automation in the factory as computer-driven machines made quick work of forming round stock into lock cylinders or polishing and buffing raw lever handles into works of art. In the midst of an obviously busy factory, one had to marvel at how clean and orderly everything was.
ILA members gathered in closed session late Thursday afternoon to choose officers for the next year.
Friday classes included overviews of Yale lock products, Yale Keymark training, a floor check and pivot seminar and a seminar on electronic lock products. This reporter really enjoyed the electronic seminar. After a presentation of various available electronic products manufactured by Assa Abloy, students were divided into groups and asked to develop electronic security solutions for several ‘problem’ door openings. After much group consultation, lively discussions followed as a selected member from each group presented their hardware choices to solve each problem. This ended the ILA convention classes on a stimulating and educational highpoint.
ILA conventioneers concluded their convention with a banquet on Friday evening presented by our Assa Abloy hosts. Dignitaries in attendance such as ALOA president Robert Mock, LAB VP Jerry Roraback, several past ILA presidents, plus many Assa-Abloy representatives added to the great evening. Two principals from the TV show, “It Takes A Thief” gave a presentation after dinner on hints for upgrading residential security.
Some institutional locksmiths stayed Saturday morning in order to take the institutional locksmiths certification exams. The ILA convention is scheduled to be in Chicago next year. I, for one, can hardly wait.