The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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May 5, 2014

ACT in Beckley to offer cosmetology courses

Academy of Careers and Technology will be beautifying Beckleyans and leaving them with a little jingle in their purses, Principal Charles Pack said.

ACT is set to open a cosmetology school in August that will allow students to stay in Beckley while becoming certified cosmetologists.

“We’re really bringing it back to Beckley,” Pack said. “When the Beckley Beauty Academy quit, there was no place in the area to take cosmetology classes. You have to go to Charleston or Lewisburg or Wyoming County. We’re going to be bringing that back to Raleigh County.”

The 1,800-credit-hour program will be available for high school students and adults. Those who complete the program, which will offer training in nails, hair styling, coloring, perming and other aesthetics, will be fully certified in cosmetology.

The course could be a good fit for some ACT students who are currently learning English as a second language, he noted.

Beckleyans will get beautified at a discount by students, said Pack.

“Part of the education is having an outside study lab where people from the community come in, get haircuts, perms, dyes, nails, all the stuff the students do,” he said. “I believe it’s needed here.

“People have been telling us, ‘Please do this so we don’t have to travel somewhere.’”

He said the program will not only offer cosmetology training in Raleigh County, but it will give senior citizens and others opportunities to get professional haircuts and styles at a discounted rate.

“It’s very needed in Beckley, and we are very happy to bring it back,” he emphasized.

Right now, Pack said, around 20 beauty technician labs are being set up at ACT, which is located behind Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley.

“We have all the equipment,” he said. “It’s standard beauty salon equipment — shampoo stations and dryer stations, which has got a mirror and all the things they need to hang their tools up and do all their work.”

The course will be offered during the traditional school day, and Pack said evening classes may be added later.

“Once we get the program running, we may be able to offer nail technician as a standalone (discipline) and hair stylist as a standalone, which will be fewer hours,” he added.

High school students will attend for free but will finish up as an adult student, which requires payment, he said.

Grants are available to aid students who enter the cosmetology program, he reported.

Pack is also accepting resumes from candidates for two full-time instructor positions.

Candidates should have five years of cosmetology experience and will have to pass a test administered by the West Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists and will also be required to meet Raleigh school hiring guidelines, he said.

Pack said he’ll be one of the first hair customers, although he won’t be needing any color rinses or highlights.

“I’m an easy cut,” he said. “I’ve got a crew cut.”

Information on the program and the instructor positions is available by calling ACT at 304-256-4615.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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