Notes from the Editor: Recruiting The Future

Nov. 2, 2018
Early training is an important way to develop the locksmiths of tomorrow. Why not give a high school student his or her first job?

If you have attended any locksmith conventions in recent years, a noticeable trend is that the average age of attendees is rising. Apparently many young people do not recognize the value in becoming a locksmith. Locksmith schools are becoming few and far between as demand by beginners wanes.

At the same time, every door in every building has a latch or lock of some kind. Unfortunate crime figures indicate that added security measures are an important fact of life. So why is there a disconnect with young persons not having an interest in our business?

On another subject, the Greater Philadelphia Locksmith Association (GPLA) recently held their annual convention. For over fifty years GPLA has chosen an individual to receive their Philadelphia Award. According to GPLA literature the Philadelphia Award "cannot be earned, chosen by title or affluence but rather represents the building blocks of progress for the entire industry."

This year, 2018, the Philadelphia Award was presented to Peter Field. In 2012 the Philadelphia Award went to Clyde Roberson. In 2006 the award was presented to me. The significance of this is that all three of us first learned about locksmithing in the same Chicagoland lock shop. My father trained me at an early age. Peter and Clyde worked in our family locksmith business during their high school days. Once they left college the locksmith industry beckoned and the rest is history. Each of us found different industry paths but the basic interest in security instilled so early in life was the catalyst.

Early training is an important way to develop the locksmiths of tomorrow. Ask Clyde and Peter and I am sure you will receive the same advice. Our family locksmith business is no better than any other locksmith business across the country. Many high schools have work release programs. Why not hire a student to work afternoons and Saturdays? Who knows, you may be starting some young person towards a promising locksmith career and possibly being a future Philadelphia Award recipient.