Play Your Part in Securing Security’s Next Generation

Security integrators should do all they can to foster the next generation of solution providers.

Think back. When was the first time you formally became involved in any sort of technology training?

For me it was shop class in junior high school back in the early 1960s. We had four required shop classes: metal, wood, electricity and typesetting (yes, you heard me right). These classes introduced me to many types of industrial tools, such as lathes and drill presses. Not realizing it at the time, they also started to shape my career skills, methods and practices. You might guess that my favorite was electricity. Not only did this hands-on class teach me some important principles of electricity, it also taught best-practice skills that I will take to my grave. I will always remember important fundamental lessons such as making sure to bend a wire around a screw terminal in the same direction as you are tightening it. Sure, this is very basic for most of our readers, but remember, even today poor cable termination is still the root cause of most system troubles.

Why do I dwell on such basic skills and experiences? It’s because many of these introductory technology programs are being lost. In many districts shop class, if it exists at all, is considered a dumping ground for underachievers. Many students today feel that the only way to a successful career is being college bound. The opportunities afforded by vocational technical schools are often overlooked. The truth is that we have more young people today, often with multiple degrees and with a high tuition debt burden, staying at home with their parents because of unemployment or jobs that simply can’t help them out of financial duress.

This month we are going to continue our previous conversations on skills training with specific interest in methods for introducing our youth to technical careers in security, building automation and systems integration. After all, this is the cornerstone of building a strong industry here in the United States. Additionally, what are we as an industry doing to pro-mote the value of the skills of our trade compared with other similar trade groups? There remains much that needs to be done by all.

Wakeup Call From the Security Industry

Many of you are familiar with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC). For those of you that might not be familiar with this organization, it deals with security industry issues such as false dispatch reduction and alarm management (also see “SIAC Takes Action When First Responders Call“).

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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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