Education By Association

As long as there is a need for security, there will be a need for locksmiths.

Even so, it did not come easily. It takes a person or persons who are dedicated to finding ready, willing and able "educators" and then arranging for them to teach at either monthly or weekend venues.

FWCLA has two vice presidents. One is solely responsible for all the aforementioned education, past, present and future. Rob is an unsung hero.

If you acknowledge the need for continuing education and belong to an association, I hope you have gotten an idea or two here. If you recognize the need to update or expand your knowledge and you do not belong to an association, now may be a good time to join. For paid classes, FWCLA gives discounts to members of associations. Non-member attendees pay full fare.

It's all about associations. Associations are needed, more than ever, to ensure the longevity of the locksmithing profession. I acknowledge as long as there is a need for mere physical security, there will be a need for locksmiths. However, because the profession is evolving from pure physical security to include electronics, biometrics and a myriad of other high security devices and needs, we are all going to need more education to ensure our survival.

If there is an association in your area, but it has become stagnant, join and revitalize it. If there is no local or regional association in your area, start one.

Talk to a locksmith colleague or two. Have them talk to one or two others. Meet for coffee or a meal. Don't be afraid to reach across county or state lines. Contact other associations for advice or procedures. Locksmith Ledger's annual Security Register directory contains a listing of such associations. The several internet sites can be surfed for connections or links. Gather and use business E-mail addresses to stay connected and up to date with each other. When you start your education program, start slowly with the talent you have at hand – your members.

Associations can help members beyond providing means for education. Membership requirements may stipulate recommendations be obtained from prior employers. Fingerprint cards can, likewise, be required. Members can be authorized to use the association's logo in advertising. The association can publicize its professional stature and the continuing education opportunities it offers its members. The association can take part in community events. The ideas are endless. The potential is unlimited. Just do it.

In the past, locksmiths have had a reputation for being loners. Locksmiths today can no longer afford to stay un-associated. Everywhere we turn, some other trade or service seems to be encroaching on traditional locksmith activities. The time has come to associate or disappear.

Learn and earn.

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