The Latte Training Academy Inc. is working to bring licensed and qualified barbering and stylist instruction to the CNMI. The CNMI does not require a professional license to be a barber or stylist, something that LTA believes is a risk to the public. In all 50 states and Guam, barbers who traditionally perform male haircuts, and stylists, typically referred to as beauticians, require professional licensing. LTA board member Jeremy Sasamoto, who has worked in the CNMI’s public health system for over 10 years, understands the importance of licensing and regulations when dealing with the public.
“The profession of barbering and styling is a licensed trade in all 50 states and the U.S. territory of Guam. As many of the interactions that barbers and stylists have with the general public deal with hygiene and chemicals, they are directly tied to public health. As a tourist destination, we should make every effort to ensure that our personal care industry is staffed with professionals who have been properly trained and licensed,” said Sasamoto.
LTA has partnered with licensed barbers and stylists who have met the rigorous standards of licensing in the states of Illinois, Colorado, and North Carolina. The organization intends to bring these professionals on-island for the instruction and hands-on portion of the training. This includes the owner and operator of the Pueblo School of Cosmetology, Marie Deherrera and award-winning barber Reece Cambo, who has been a licensed barber in Chicago and is now licensed in Colorado.
“We are excited to begin instruction on Saipan. Our team understands that there are not currently any licensing requirements in the CNMI; however, our condensed course has a 200-hour curriculum designed specifically so that students can knowledgeably and confidently enter the workforce feeling comfortable in the career path they have chosen. Throughout the course students will be tested similarly to the licensing examinations that are administered throughout any of the 50 states. The course covers topics of hygiene, technique, chemicals, customer interactions and host of other topics, which are tested for throughout the country,” said Cambo.
As an approved training provider with the CNMI State Workforce Development Board, LTA will submit its curriculum for review and approval. The course will be a hybrid of book work and hands-on experience under the supervision of Deherrera and Cambo. For the hands-on component of the course, participants will provide haircuts to various segments of the population free of charge. This is intended to ensure that participants are comfortable with working with clients of all ages and varying tastes in haircuts and style. As part of their participation in the program, students will be provided equipment and materials to smoothly transition into the profession as a barber or stylists.
“This program is necessary to ensure that our community continues to have access to barbers and stylists beyond the CW program. The board of directors has worked hard to reduce the program costs to ensure that we could train residents who are interested in pursuing this career option. The alternative to bringing licensed professionals to the CNMI to instruct is to send student’s off-island to access the instruction, which is financially unfeasible. We are hopeful that the CNMI State Workforce Development Board is in alignment with our approach” said LTA board member Ed Arriola, Jr.
The program is intended to fill a void that will be left with the transition of the CW workforce from the CNMI. LTA also intends to work with the CNMI Parole Board and Department of Corrections to provide training and skill building for interested residents who will be transitioning back into the community from incarceration. The organization encourages various segments of the population to consider this as a career opportunity, particularly young folks who are junior and/or seniors in high school.
“Throughout the country, the profession of barbering and hairstyling is often a trade that many folks who were formerly incarcerated learned while they were serving their sentence. It provides a productive opportunity for them to transition back into the community and secure gainful employment, which ultimately reduces recidivism. It is also a career that many young people have pursued while in high school. In Guam, we learned of Ryo Eda, a senior at Harvest Christian Academy who is currently pursuing the development of his talents while he is completing his high school career. He works alongside licensed barbers to help refine his craft and prepare him for his attendance in barbering school in Hawaii,” said Juan-Carlos Benitez, LTA board president.
LTA plans on opening registration upon approval of the curriculum from the CNMI’s State Workforce Development Board. The organization encourages interested participants to contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (PR)