30 Under 30: Fred Kuhar

Fred Kuhar, 20 years old, works for Fox Chase Lock & Key, Inc. in Philadelphia which is owned by Ron Marcinkowski. Ron has been a customer and friend for many years and was enthusiastic about his young employee sitting down with me for this interview. For...


 

Are you at the point of being able to recommend products and upsell to customers now?

I recommend some things but nothing I don’t know about. I can tell someone the difference between a Medeco and a Kwikset and why they’re better protected by the Medeco lock. Many break-ins are the result of an open window or an unlocked door so it wouldn’t matter in those cases.

How do you see the future of locksmithing? What do we have to do to be successful in the future?

Automotive is moving towards us using just remotes. I think as people keep having problems with their remotes, they’re going to want to come back to having a backup key again. I think that will happen even if it’s a different type of key than we’re used to. Let’s say your car starts accelerating on its own and you need to turn the car off, for example.

 

Would you recommend locksmithing to other young people?

I enjoy it. When I was in high school I did a shadow day in my mom’s office. She’s an ER nurse working in a local hospital and working in an office for a day was extremely boring. I like this because it’s good mix between manual labor and stuff you have to actually think about, lot’s of thinking involved.

 

What do friends of yours talk about doing for a living?

Most of them seem to be trying to get into the medical fields like EMT, nursing, Pharmacy. Others are doing things like roofing because their dad does it. Many seem to be avoiding traditional college and are going for other things like computers.

 

Do you think locksmiths will still be called locksmiths in 20 years?

It seems like technology is moving away from keys in general, towards a lot of pass codes, number systems, keypads, etc. Like my mom said, “People may not always need keys but they will always need security.” Maybe instead of being called locksmiths, we’ll be called security specialists. The choices we make now will affect us down the line. Do we try to hang on to the old ways or do we embrace the new technologies and stay ahead of the curve?

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