How to Use Industry Associations as a Resource in the Education Vertical

Integrators who are working in or would like to work in the education market can turn to industry associations for help, support and training.

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) reports that 63% of its members serve the K-12 market and 49% serve colleges and universities.

And those members are taking a leadership role nationwide in ensuring the safety of children, teachers and school personnel. To assist in those efforts, ESA developed the Electronic Security Guidelines for Schools.

The guidelines were created through active participation from a selected panel of 18 security industry professionals with extensive experience in securing schools.

The document isn’t designed primarily for industry professionals, but as a reference for school administrators when working to assess and determine appropriate security strategies and the critical role electronic security professionals can play in keeping schools safe.

READ: The Ultimate Guide to School Security Opportunities

In addition, ESA works diligently at the federal level to push for legislation to provide funding for school security to make schools safer. ESA’s annual Day on Capitol Hill will be held May 16-17 where members will meet with their elected officials to discuss school security funding among other topics. To learn more, visit

The Security Industry Association (SIA) is also a strong partner for industry professionals in the education sector. Jake Parker is director of government relations for SIA and is often advocating on Capitol Hill in support of policies and funding that improve K-12 security.

One of SIA’s many initiatives is helping to try to restore the Secure Our Schools grant program. "It was funded for about 10 years and was supporting school technology improvements, but like many other programs, the funding fell away it," Parker says.

A request to reauthorize the program is being made on Capitol Hill for the federal government to help shoulder some of the cost for improved security for our schools.

SIA’s Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) initiative was born out of concern and commitment for school safety. The PASS K-12 security guidelines were produced by a SIA committee that includes vendors and integrators and which combines efforts from the
National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA), as well.

The goal is to help schools make sure their money is spent on the right solutions. Following are the PASS guidelines:

  • Define threats common to schools at each educational level
  • Offer recommendations on parental and community involvement
  • Detail a layered security approach that combats common threats and mitigates risks related to active shooters
  • Provide information for integrators, school administrators, resource officers, and IT staff on technology-focused solutions like video surveillance, duress alarms, and electronic access control
  • Deliver scalable/tiered measures that administrators can implement based on available resources and local risk levels

To download the PASS guidelines, visit SIA also provides security professionals with risk assessments and whitepapers that can be used when working with schools. For more information, visit

ERIN HARRINGTON has 20+ years of editorial, marketing and PR experience within the security industry. Contact her at [email protected].

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