Our Newest Apprentice? An International Soccer Player from Central Methodist University

Apprentice: Mark from CMUBy Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers has run an apprenticeship program for many years. Typically, we’ve used the program to introduce people to the field of locksmithing. Locksmithing is not something you would find in a college course catalog and it can take many years to hone and perfect the craft. Likewise, coursework in electronic security can be hard to find. Adjacent coursework like IT management or computer science is close, but not a substitute for hands-on learning.

Meet Mark

Mark is an international student, studying at Central Methodist University. We started talking to Mark earlier this year. He was looking for a place to get some hands-on experience related to his computer science degree. Mark comes from Hungary, where his father is a well known, professional soccer player. Mark is a talented soccer player himself (and played professionally in Hungary.) Mark determined that while he enjoyed soccer, it wasn’t going to be his career. So he found an opportunity to play soccer in the United States and with a scholarship for college. One of Mark’s classes sparked his passion for computer science, causing Mark to add computer science as his third major.

Getting hands-on experience for any degree can increase your demand after graduation.

Computer science is so broad as a topic, one could specialize in dozens of fields. Kenton Brothers focuses on computer science in physical and cyber security. Computers are behind most of the systems in our world today, and physical security is no different. By focusing on the computer systems in physical security, we can make them easier to use and understand for our customers. We also increase cyber security for the installed systems and focus on where the physical and cyber systems converge.

Mark was able to use his time during an internship at Kenton Brothers to increase his knowledge of control wiring, physical security principles, and cyber security hardening. He earned two manufacturer certifications to springboard his physical security experience. Then he focused on programming a large installation throughout the summer with several smaller programming tasks. And he has been able to experience implementations of commercial security access control, cameras and intercoms.

We look forward to working more with Mark as he continues working towards earning his degree and after graduating. Hopefully, we’ve fostered a curiosity for him  within the computer science niche of physical security.

If you or someone you know is  interested in computers and would like to learn more about our internship opportunities, please visit our apprentice program page.

Kenton Brothers University: We Invest in Our Employees

By Justine King, Sales and Marketing Administrator at Kenton Brothers

Brinton’s Training Matrix

Brinton HallumHere at Kenton Brothers, we take particular pride in our hiring process and the way we train each new employee specifically for their position. We are so very lucky to have Brinton Hallum as KB’s Field Service Training Supervisor. With his previous experience in training employees and his many years of dedication to the KB Advantage, Brinton has completely redesigned our training process from the inside out.

 “To add structure and standardize Kenton Brothers University and make it a platform for all levels of technicians to utilize. I want to keep it simple for the new/green technicians and slowly transition to deep technical for the senior level technicians. I want certifications for achievements along the way.”
– Brinton Hallum

KB recognizes Brinton for all of his hard work implementing the 3-part Kenton Brothers University program: KB Learning Management System, KB Interactive Lab, and KB Classes.

KB LMS (Learning Management System)

Currently, we are standing up the KB LMS, this is one of our rocks to get moving this year. It currently has training for General Access Control panel wiring, Cable Planning, Electrical Theory, Circuits and Relays, S2 Systems Level 1. This will allow for technicians to have a formalized web-based training with testing throughout. This will ensure they up to speed general knowledge as well as manufacturer specific material.

Kenton Brothers Learning Management System

KB Interactive Lab

Kenton Brothers Interactive LabThe KB Lab has live systems of Gallagher, Lenel, Software House, Axis, Milestone, Bosch and Honeywell. These hardware systems also have live virtual servers to interact within the hardware. This allows for the technicians to program, wire and test devices in a live working environment. The training lab not only allows Brinton to train technicians on areas they may not be up to speed on, but also allows for ongoing training/refreshers and preparing for installs or troubleshooting. Along with training purposes, this setting is used this as a sandbox to ensure upgrades will go smooth for our end users.

KB Classes

We’ve hosted several KB Classes in the past and will be firing them back up as long as COVID allows. These classes range from general installation standards to in depth programming and trouble shooting. Kenton Brothers hosts these classes in our multipurpose room going forward. Our classes are recorded and streamed for any technicians that service outside our KC Metro home base.

Brinton has invested many hours into the creating these programs for KB employees to utilize through the onboarding process and throughout their years with our company. Proving that we constantly care about our employees and their continuous education of the ever-changing technology field.

Kenton Brothers Classes KBU - Brinton

Kenton Brothers promotes four technicians into a brand new foreman position.

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers was established in 1897 here in Kansas City, Missouri and is still owned and operated by the same family. The company traces its roots to mechanical locksmithing, but has adapted with the times and offers a full range of services including locksmithing, access control, commercial video surveillance, intrusion detection, metal detectors, and much more.

Throughout the company’s 123 years in existence, there have been many traditions established, many forms of promotions, and many paths for its employees to grow. In that spirit, Kenton Brothers has established a new foreman position for technicians to grow into as their skills and experience mature.

Kenton Brothers: Congratulations to our four new foremen!

The foreman position is all about leadership, management, and accountability.

Our foremen are assigned jobs where they will be responsible for coordinating all job needs. Foremen will work directly with our customers on site. They’re in charge of leading our technical crews and directly driving the success of job implementation. This role, and the success of its jobs, play a vital role in Kenton Brothers’ success and growth.

Earlier this year, we held our first round of interviews and promoted a total of four existing technicians into the new foreman role. Those technicians are Zack Holden who has 5 years with Kenton Brothers, Terry McCurdy who has 3 years with Kenton Brothers, Charlie Merrill who has 1 and a half years with Kenton Brothers, and Josh Ast who has 1 year with Kenton Brothers. They each were chosen for various reasons: their skill sets, showing leadership in the field, and earning the trust from our other technicians who trust them and value their skills highly.

Kenton Brothers: Congratulations to our four new foremen!

Watching our employees grow, not only in their careers but in their personal lives as well, is something we hold dear. Our company culture embodies family. Seeing our family culture grow and thrive is essential not only to our business but the daily lives of our employees. Please join us in congratulating our new foremen Zack, Terry, Charlie, & Josh on their new roles as they advance their careers here at Kenton Brothers!

Know someone looking for a job? Community Job Fair on February 12th!

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers

Community Job Fair - February 12thAre you looking for a rewarding, life changing career that will allow you to be hands-on and provides numerous opportunities for learning and growth?

Join Kenton Brothers on Tuesday, February 12th from 9am – 12pm for a Community Job Fair at the Guadalupe Center of Kansas City located at 1512 Vanbrunt Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri.

Click here for a PDF with more information.

Kenton Brothers is partnering with the Guadalupe Center as well as various local businesses to provide opportunities for those in the community to gain respectable, blue-collar employment. Jobs where they can learn a valuable trade and skills. It’s very important to us that we build up, and support, our community.

Kenton Brothers sees no better way to give back to the community than by offering a Locksmith Apprenticeship to a hardworking, mechanically inclined individual that wishes to be a part of an amazing culture and organization. No experience is necessary for this position, as we hope to find a dedicated apprentice whom finds value in learning a trade.

We hope to see you at the Job Fair on February 12th!

Please bring a copy of your resume and contact information for an opportunity to be part of the #KBWAY!

Recruiting and Keeping Millennials

By Kristen Harper, Controller and HR Manager at Kenton Brothers

There are approximately 54 million 18 to 34 year olds in the job market today. This group of individuals is classified as Millennials.

Recruiting and Keeping Millennials

Recruiting and Keeping MillennialsIt seems society has put a lot of emphasis and thought into what makes a millennial “tick” from an employment perspective. This group of individuals has a higher digital connection than previous generations and is usually tied to social media outlets. Many Millennials like flexible schedules, working from home and lots of time off.

Simon Sinek explains in this YouTube video the difficult situation Millennials find themselves in. His theory is based on how they were raised and what they were taught in school and sports. And now they’re trying to get a job, or keep a job, and struggling. The video has over 9 million views and makes some very good points. If you have 15 minutes, we encourage you to watch it… it might help you support Millennials on your team more effectively with a better perspective.

Companies Have to Do Things Differently

Companies are finding they need to change strategies, policies and procedures to adapt to the desires of Millennials so they can keep their work forces intact and growing. Having a meaningful job and feeling they’re contributing is just as important to many Millennials as their compensation. Accepting that Millennials like constant change and aren’t looking for a lifetime career is something employers are learning to adapt to as well.

Millennials like direct, immediate feedback, not traditional performance reviews, and they thrive on personal development and clear cut paths to climbing the ladder.

How Are We Supporting the Millennials at Kenton Brothers?

Kenton Brothers has taken great steps to create personalized career paths within our organization to show every employee how they can become the CEO some day if they so aspire. We’ve created quarterly team building events, staff breakfasts, potlucks and more to promote engagement and stronger team values. Our culture is like a family where we support, guide and provide assistance on both a business and personal level, and we’re embracing continual recruitment in our organization.

Kenton Brothers has found that with all changes we’ve implemented, we’re hiring and building relationships with many Millennials that are doing great things in our business every day!

Kenton Brothers: Millennials, Alexandra Kenton Brothers: Millennials - Marcus Kenton Brothers: Millennials - Kassie