HELENA — Helena College will soon provide a cosmetology program, the first public program of its kind in the state.
“This is an important program for the state of Montana and for Helena specifically because we need to build the workforce. There are projected openings in this field for the next 10 years. There's openings right now, but over the next 10 years a lot of folks are projected to retire from the cosmetology industry,” says DEAN/CEO at Helena College, Sandy Bauman.
Construction work is currently underway at the Donaldson Campus to overhaul what was once the fire bay for the Fire & Emergency Services program. The space will feature a full-service salon intended to prepare students for the cosmetology licensure exam with the Montana State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists.
Bauman told MTN that they decided to open the program due to a lack of training facilities in the area and due to projected retirements in the industry over the next decade.
The cosmetology program will not only be the first public program of its kind in the state but will also be the first with an associate degree.
The program will begin in the spring semester of 2024, but students hoping to join the program can start general education courses before that in order to get a head start. Students will also have the opportunity to add on a certificate in business entrepreneurship, as well.
“...which is really valuable for folks going into this industry as many people are looking at being self-employed when they move into working as a cosmetologist,” says Bauman.
The school is currently searching for a name for the salon and is taking suggestions from the public.
An information night will take place on April 11, at 5:30 PM at the Donaldson Campus Lecture Hall. A virtual option will also be available to those who can't attend in person. Those interested are encouraged to register beforehand.