FAST Forward: Accelerating Talent in the Security Industry

FAST Forward: Accelerating Talent in the Security Industry
Electronic Security Association — December 7, 2023

Companies across the entire security industry face challenges in hiring talent. Competition with other careers, a lack of awareness of what the field of security is, and a disconnect between training resources and potential employees all contribute to this gap between talent and opportunities in the security industry. That is where FAST comes in. FAST (Foundation for Advancing Security Talent) is a non-profit organization, supported through a partnership between ESA (Electronic Security Association) and SIA (Security Industry Association), with the mission to connect talent to careers in the security industry.  

FAST was formed to help address the need for talent in the security industry. Workforce challenges have ranked as a top issue to companies for years now, and these challenges are not going away. As our industry becomes ever more technologically advanced, finding workers skilled enough to handle the technology and labor needs is crucial. Integration and manufacturing companies are looking for skills in their workers that are difficult to find. Addressing this challenge requires forward thinking and a proactive approach to engagement outside of the industry.  

How Does FAST Help? We focus on three main areas: 

  • Outreach: We work with schools and other groups to find people who want to work in security. 
  • Research: We collect data and find solutions to help companies understand what workers they need. 
  • Education: We make sure that once people find a job in security, they have what they need to stay there. 

Now that the background of FAST has been recapped, it’s important to understand where we are going. Building awareness of the security industry is crucial. We all know that oftentimes individuals working in our industry do not set out to make a career out of it, rather they “fall in” to the security industry and end up staying. This is not a sustainable model, and it’s the reason why FAST is so important.  

A large part of our work is proactive outreach to organizations representing talent our industry wants to hire. FAST works with schools of all levels, career changers, military organizations, and other similar organizations to elevate the profile of the industry and show the opportunities through resources like the FAST Job Board (free postings for ESA members). Our goal is to build awareness and establish partnerships with these organizations, ultimately establishing a consistent pipeline of trained, ready-to-hire individuals to the security industry. Rather than “falling in” to the security industry, we want this talent to seek out a career in our industry.  

Beyond attracting these new hires, FAST recognizes the importance of retaining talent in our industry. That is why we launched National Security Technician Day. Security Technicians are the unsung heroes of the security industry. On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, join us in celebrating National Security Technician Day. This day is dedicated to acknowledging technicians’ significant contributions and showcasing appreciation for their dedication and expertise. 

How to Participate in National Security Technician Day 

  • Spread the Word: Engage with the community on social media using the hashtag #NationalSecurityTechnicianDay and tag FAST. 
  • Celebrate Your Technicians: Host events, offer gifts, bonuses, or even time off to show your appreciation for your technicians. 

We hope that the entire security industry – from integrators and manufacturers to security technicians – will engage with FAST actively. National Security Technician Day is just one of these opportunities. By participating in our initiatives, providing support through sponsorships or donations, or simply spreading the word about the work we do, you contribute directly to building a robust, skilled workforce that will drive the security industry forward. Your involvement is not just an investment in the future of your company but an invaluable contribution to the development and sustainability of the entire industry. 

For more information, or to get involved, visit www.advancingsecurity.org or www.jobs.advancingsecurity.org

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