Cosmetology school owners from across the state have joined forces in an effort to get their schools included in Governor Bill Haslam’s proposed Tennessee Reconnect program.
As proposed, Tennessee Reconnect would provide a tuition-free community college education to any adult in the state who doesn’t already have a degree. The Tennessee Cosmetology School Owners Association (TCSOA) wants to ensure students can make the best possible choice for their education.
“TCATs (Tennessee Centers for Applied Technology) have waiting lists of a year and a half or longer for their cosmetology programs,” says Adam Brown, chair of the Tennessee Cosmetology School Owners Association and owner of Tennessee School of Beauty. “Private cosmetology school students can get their education, graduate and be working in their chosen career in that amount of time.”
Brown adds that the need for skilled workers in the cosmetology industry is great right now.
“Employment of cosmetology workers, including barbers, hairdressers, nail technicians and estheticians, is projected to grow by 10 percent through 2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
All student eligibility requirements for Tennessee Reconnect would be unchanged, including residency and FAFSA criteria. The TCSOA only wants to include their institutions among the eligible schools for the program.
“Tennessee has a great opportunity to attract hundreds of thousands of adults to higher education. Tennessee Reconnect will provide dividends to our economy for years to come. Imagine how much greater those dividends will be if more quality educational institutions are included in the program,” Brown says.