A-B Tech to launch barber academy in January

Press release from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College:

A-B Tech Community College has announced a new Barber Academy that will begin in January 2020. The continuing education workforce training program will prepare students to apply for and pass the licensing examination offered by the North Carolina State Board of Barber Examiners (NCBBE).

The new program is one of few barber training programs in the state offered by community colleges and the only one offered west of Shelby. Local barber shops and cosmetology salons that want to provide professional barbering services have expressed great interest in the new program.

“We’re beginning the barbering program in response to requests from the community,” said A-B Tech President Dennis King. “We have heard from African-American barber shops in particular that this is a program they’d like to see us offer, but we’ve also heard that most barber shops and even cosmetologists are interested because they all need more licensed barbers.”

Joseph “Jay” Kaufmann of Kannapolis has been hired as Coordinator and Lead Instructor of the Barber Academy. Kaufmann is a licensed registered barber and barbering instructor in North Carolina, and formerly was head instructor at the Hair Styling Institute in Charlotte and a barbering instructor at Roffler Hair Design in Jacksonville, Florida. He also has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of North Carolina.

“I’m excited to join A-B Tech and look forward to growing the Barber Academy into a premier institution for student barbers and the community,” Kaufmann said. “Our mission is to prepare students to pass the NC Barber Licensing Exam and achieve a lifelong career in the barbering industry.”

The barbering program is a comprehensive study into the profession of barbering. The program is designed to give students a strong foundation of history, theory, and the business of the profession, while gaining the practical proficiencies and technical skills necessary for a career of leadership in the Barbering industry.

 North Carolina state law defines barbering as one or a combination of the following services: 1) Shaving or trimming the beard, or cutting the hair; 2) Dyeing the hair or applying hair tonics, permanent waving or marcelling the hair; or 3) Giving facial or scalp massages, or treatments with oils, creams, lotions or other preparations either by hand or mechanical appliances.

Requirements for a NC barbering license include at least 1,528 hours of training at an approved barber school and a passing score on clinical and written examinations conducted by the NCBBE. Upon passing the NCBBE exam, successful students will receive an Apprentice Barber license and will be qualified to work in an entry-level position in a barber shop or related business. After at least one year of on-the-job-training and completion of the NCBBE Registered Barber exam, the successful student will become a Registered Barber.

The Barber Academy is a full-time day program that will take, on average, 15 months to complete. Information sessions that prepare prospective students for enrollment will be held on Monday, Dec. 16, from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. in room 326 of the Ferguson Center for Allied Health and Workforce Development on the A-B Tech campus. Admission is capped at 20 students per class. King also announced that A-B Tech will cover tuition for the first class of students, but students will be responsible for their fees, books, uniform, and tool kit.

The Barber Academy is located in the former massage therapy space in the Birch Building on A-B Tech’s Asheville campus. Learn more at abtech.edu/barber.

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