Weekly Now: New Nonprofit Looks to Strengthen the Security Workforce

Two security trade groups join forces to build a nonprofit aimed at boosting employment in the industry. Also: why the Senate filibuster is a hot topic in the advocacy world ahead of the 2020 election.

Two associations focused on keeping our world secure—the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the Electronic Security Association (ESA)—are taking steps to strengthen the talent pipeline.

The groups just announced the launch of a new nonprofit, the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST), which aims to promote careers in the security and life safety industry.

The foundation will focus on helping companies in these fields by encouraging outreach to schools, colleges, and universities; creating research on workforce development; and developing continuing-education resources for those already in the industry.

In a news release, SIA Board Chair Pierre Trapanese said FAST could help solve recruiting challenges for the sectors, which often must compete with the rest of the technology field for new hires.

“Whenever we talk to SIA members about their greatest challenges, they universally put recruiting talent into the security industry and workforce development at the top of the list,” he said. “We are excited to partner with ESA to address an issue that we know is just as critical to the future of the industry as the continued development of technology.”

FAST will also create a timely member benefit for ESA and SIA members: For the next year, as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, members of both groups can post jobs for free on FAST’s jobs board.

Other news highlights:

Filibuster concerns. The Hill reports on a growing debate in policy circles over what might happen to the filibuster, the procedural hurdle in the Senate that can delay the passage of legislation, if the parties switch hands in November. Industry groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have expressed concern over how its removal might affect legislation, while trade unions and advocacy groups see potential in the change.

Responsible battery removals. The Energy Storage Association, whose industry focuses on developing battery technology that can store energy at scale, recently announced a set of corporate guidelines [PDF] to help energy storage firms better handle the recycling and management of lithium-ion batteries, which tend to degrade over time, reports Energy Storage News. According to the association, the goal of the effort is to “address an approach for managing the extensive fleet of advanced industrial batteries that are being deployed now.”

When Apathy Sinks In

Shrinking staff and shifting responsibilities can be a major danger for organizations just trying to get through right now, and there’s serious risk to your membership if you take your eye off the ball for too long, warns Smooth the Path’s Amanda Kaiser.

Usually, we make trade-offs because of time. Those special personal touches, unexpected nice surprises, and wow experiences are the first to go when staff members lack time. Member response is usually slow, but one year we might wonder, “Why is membership declining?” The next time you have to prioritize time, prioritize in favor of your members’ experience.

Kaiser says that cost-saving efforts can have a long-term impact on quality, and it’s something you have to watch out for.


My final tech blog ran a week ago, with this feature replacing it. Before we move forward, be sure to take a look back.

YouTube can offer an excellent path for associations to reach their members at this time, Rasheeda Childress writes.

Just because your event is virtual doesn’t mean you can’t add a tangible element to it. We have a few ideas on that front.

(Laurence Dutton/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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