BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Daytona State College held a ribbon cutting for the opening of its new barber school at the New Smyrna Beach campus Feb. 12.
College and elected officials, dignitaries, Chamber members and Daytona State students and staff attended the event.
Jonathan Worsham, lll was honored as Barber Student of the Year, at the ceremony and says he looks forward to owning his own barbershop one day. His dream derives from days of his youth sweeping up and cleaning at Etavis Russ’ shop on what locals know as Second Avenue. Russ is Worsham’s uncle and has owned his shop for 40 years.
“I swept up and watched him work and saw how relaxed the atmosphere was,” Worsham explained. “It is a great opportunity for those right out of high school or those looking for a career change.”
“With the downfall of the economy, I saw this as a cost effective way to get into a new profession. It will be a profession, not a job, but a career. Anyone is who is willing and able can do it.”
Increase in demand
The college estimates the demand for barbers in Florida is expected to increase nearly 10 percent over the next decade due to an increasing population, higher incomes and demand for personal appearance services.
New graduates usually begin working with an established barbershop, with median annual wages around $25,000. With experience, many become entrepreneurs, opening their own barbershops or salons.
Full-time daytime classes will be offered in New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater and part time evening classes in Deltona. The 12- to 16-month barbering program will be for people who want to become barbers and who, unlike cosmetologists, are specially trained to trim mustaches and beards and shave with straight blade razors.
However, those students who have already completed cosmetology school will be able to transfer those credits and skills over to the barbering school as well in a barber-bridge program for licensed cosmetologists to add barber skills to their repertoire.
Students are taught how to cut all types of hair Worsham added, “ethnic, Caucasian and from curly to straight.”
The barbering program rapidly filled its first available seats last fall, and the first classes will graduate in July with 16 students, followed by 17 students next December. Already, 23 students have completed the barber-bridge program, with 100-percent success rate.
As a training program with a full-service clinic, DSC’s barbering offers services to the public on specified days. For appointments, call 386-423-6320.
For more information about the barbering and cosmetology programs at Daytona State, visit www.DaytonaState.edu/barbering or call Lorraine Gerrity, chair for both programs, 386-506-4452, or April Winkel, barber instructor, 386-423-6320.