State of the Union

Aug. 1, 2016
With locksmith association membership on the decline, locksmiths are missing out on the enjoyment of getting together to share ideas, knowledge and camaraderie

An E-mail reminder arrived today about locksmith licensing in Illinois. Our Illinois legislature is in complete disarray with no budget and no way to pay bills. Since Illinois has no funding, notices will no longer be sent when renewals for the Illinois locksmith license are required. However, if an Illinois locksmith does not renew their license on time, Illinois will still tack on late charges.

The E-mail came from Kathy Zaniolo. Kathy Zaniolo is a locksmith in the Chicago area. Kathy and her husband have been fixtures on the Illinois locksmith scene for many years. Both people served on the board of The Greater Chicago Locksmith Association (GCLA) at one time. Kathy was a member of the task force overseeing the Illinois locksmith license after it was passed several years ago.

Another example of a locksmith who freely donates his time is John Hubel from the Locksmith Security Association of Michigan (LSA). I receive a monthly E-mail newsletter from John Hubel. The newsletters are filled with details on the free food, raffles, giveaway items and interesting speakers LSA has each month. John Hubel is also involved with charity events where locksmiths donate their time to upgrade hardware at religious facilities in the Michigan area.

Ed Fitzgerald of The Greater Philadelphia Locksmith Association (GPLA) also comes to mind. It is hard to single out just one GPLA member since so many of their members volunteer their efforts to make GPLA a truly viable organization.

These examples are few and far between. At one time Locksmith Ledger received monthly newsletters from a dozen locksmith associations around the country. Now, as example, the once-popular GCLA association in Chicago has meetings only four times a year. A recent notice from a New Jersey locksmith association indicated that an event they had planned was cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation.

Perhaps an increase in the amount of distributor events has decreased the need for locksmith associations. Most locksmith associations were organized to provide education for their membership. If education is available elsewhere either at low cost or free of charge, a basic reason for the existence of locksmith associations is lost. What has also been lost is the enjoyment of getting together to share ideas, knowledge and camaraderie.