By MATT BLOIS
Business owners in Williamson County will have the chance to learn how to fight human trafficking locally at an event on Friday.
The event, hosted by Brentwood Rotarian Steve Grissim, will give business owners resources and information to help prevent human trafficking. The event is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Friday at the Williamson County Enrichment Center.
Grissim said business have a few different ways to fight human trafficking. They can train their employees to recognize and report human trafficking. Businesses can also make sure their supply chains don’t have any products made with forced labor.
A representative from UPS will speak at the event. According to Grissim, that company has already trained its drivers to identify and report human trafficking. A former Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent and a former victim of human trafficking will also share their stories.
Gissim said he wanted to focus on the business community because business often have opportunities to recognize and report human trafficking.
“If you’re in the service industry like a hotel you can train your people at the front desk. If you’re a bank you can train your tellers,” he said. “A lot of things are training, as far as things that we can do to recognize and be aware.”
Gissim said that business owners will walk away from the event with resources for training employees to recognize human trafficking.
In addition to training employees and making sure supply chains don’t have forced labor, Grissim said businesses should consider hiring victims of human trafficking once they are freed.
The event on Friday will focus on the business community rather than nonprofits. Grissim said there are lots of nonprofit organizations doing important work to stop human trafficking, but he still sees gaps.
“A lot of those gaps could be filled by businesses just doing what they do best, and that is taking the resources of their everyday business and using them,” he said. “Whether it be looking at supply chains as far as forced labor or even sex trafficking or making a stand that you won’t allow this in your organization.