New barber program makes the cut at Sandusky Career Center

What is it: The Sandusky Career Center, part of Sandusky City Schools, is offering a new program on barbering, taught by Phil Parker Sr. and Phil Parker Jr., owners of Phil P’s Barber Shop. The 17 participants who began the instruction in March will compete 1,800 hours of instruction over 18 months and will be prepared to take the written and skills testing to secure a barbering license that is issued by the Ohio Cosmetology and Barber Board.

“There’s no barber training in the area,” says Christine Stark, director of the Sandusky Career Center. “The closest ones are in Toledo or Cleveland and there is a population of people that are not going to drive to Toledo or Cleveland. We posted the position and both Phils, who run a shop in Sandusky and have taught at the Cleveland barber school, were hired. We are very fortunate to have two experienced barber teachers in our town, so it just made sense to take their skills and present them to Sandusky.”

David Webster practices the art of straight razor shaving on a balloon. (Photo/Courtesy of Sandusky Career Center)Who is eligible: The program is open to male and female adults, 18 and older, who have a high school diploma or General Educational Development certification. The classes are from 8 a.m until 2:30 p.m, Monday through Friday at the Sandusky Career Center building, located in the old Venice Heights Elementary, 4501 Venice Heights Blvd.

What is taught: Students receive instruction on all facets of barbering, including men’s hair styling and straight razor shaving. There is tuition to the program, but the Career Center works with applicants to acquire financial aid.

“Students can apply to see if they are qualified for a Pell Grant or student loan programs,” Stark says. “This is a post-secondary program, just like going to college. Our students are very thankful for this opportunity. This is an opportunity for them to get a skill that they will have lifetime earning power and will be able to make as much or as little money, based on how much effort they put in to it.”

Family atmosphere: The learning process is bolstered by the close-knit group of students who attend career center classes at the Venice Heights building, according to Stark.

“It’s a nice small environment,” she says. “The students interact with our nursing students and we have potlucks once a month. We have the building to ourselves with ample parking. We are very blessed because there are very few adult career centers around the state that have their own standalone building.”

Even Dan Rambler, CEO and superintendent of Sandusky City Schools, got involved, receiving the honorary “first haircut” from the inaugural class.

Getting started: Applications for Sandusky Career Center courses, including the new barber program, are available online under the drop-down menu “Schools.” The Career Center will also email the application or interested individuals can stop by the center at 4501 Venice Heights Blvd. and pick up the application, which consists of a packet of information.

Potential students must also take entrance exams to be admitted that check the applicant's reading and math skills. In addition, information can be obtained on financial aid from the Career Center staff.

For more information, call 419-984-1100.