Leaders in the telecommunications industry have partnered with 3Strands Global Foundation (3SGF), a Sacramento-based nonprofit working to end human trafficking throughout the US. The goal is to educate telecommunications professionals on the signs of human trafficking and train them on how to recognize, notify and report the crime.
The partnership was initiated and spearheaded by Kenny Blakeslee, President and CEO of Apex Site Solutions, Jim Tracy, CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, LLC, and Ashlie Bryant, Co-Founder and CEO of 3Strands Global Foundation. The three came together to establish the TATE (Telecommunications Against Trafficking and Exploitation) initiative.
Human trafficking is a $150 billion global problem, a crime that occurs within the United States, one of the world’s top perpetrators of the issue. It’s happening in all of our states, said Bryant. Some see a low number of reported cases in their state and assume that human trafficking isn’t an issue in that region, however a low number of reported cases does not equal a low number of cases. Human trafficking often goes unreported and is widely misunderstood.
After speaking with Bryant about the mission and work of 3Strands Global Foundation, Blakeslee knew that action could be taken by those working in the telecommunications industry to recognize signs of human trafficking and notify the proper officials to take further preventative steps. This was the foundational idea behind the RAN (Recognize And Notify) Training and Certification Course.
Blakeslee shared, “I couldn’t help but think about the telecommunications industry and how we may be in a true position to recognize and notify law enforcement to the crime of human trafficking. We have the honor of being in multiple locations across the United States as we do our work in communities, and I thought that if we were all trained, we could be part of the solution.”
Bryant added, “Professionals in the telecommunications industry have a unique view of their surroundings, and with that unique view comes a dynamic opportunity to stop this crime from occurring, because it often occurs in plain sight.”
RAN training and certification is available at no cost
Thanks to generous sponsors and leaders in the telecommunications industry, the RAN Training and Certification Course is available at no cost to telecommunications professionals and is accessible online through the 3SGF portal located here.
For Bryant, human trafficking hit close to home when her friend’s daughter disappeared.
“She was hanging out in a parking lot with her 17-year-old friends when she was befriended by a trafficker and lured away from an affluent neighborhood. She was driven to a city and sold 15 to 20 times a day for 8 days before she was recovered,” Bryant said.
Each telecommunications professional can become RAN Certified in just 30 minutes. This education will bring prevention and protection.
“NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association is proud to actively participate in the TATE educational campaign and take the lead in promoting it within our membership and industry ecosystem. I encourage all of the Association’s member companies and their employees to join me in participating in the TATE video training to become RAN certified. Collectively, our dynamic industry can be a force for change to combat human trafficking and exploitation,” said President & CEO Todd Schlekeway.