Westside Tech opens barbering program By Edith Mosley Thursday, 28 May 2009 Westside Tech announced it has opened a complete barbering program. The 1,200-hour program has open registration, is now accepting students and will be open for the summer. "We need more trained barbers to meet the need of the Central Florida public," said Ross Nichelson, Westside Tech instructor. "After all, from the first haircut as a toddler, through our teens, to the polished cuts worn by business men and women, our hair styles mark our changing ideas and visions. Pair our technical skills with listening to our customers, asking the right questions and coming up with a result that makes everyone happy, and it's a great way to earn a living." The barbering program covers cutting, shaping, trimming and tapering hair using clippers, scissors, comb and blowout gun. Hair contouring, using a razor on temple and neck, is taught. Additional skills like lathering the face, trimming moustaches, shaving beards and massaging face, neck or scalp are mastered. "Most of the skills found in the cosmetology field are included in this program," said Nichelson. "The legal differences in Florida between the programs are that cosmetologists may not use a razor against the skin, so shaving is out. On the other hand, barbers cannot do acrylic nails." Students must pass the Florida State Barber Board exam for licensure before working in the field. Preparation for the exam is included in the course curriculum. Students attending class full time can complete the 1,200-hour program in one year. "There are two ways to go for licensure," Nichelson said. "A regular licensure requires mastery of all of the competencies. However, a person may seek a restricted licensure, limiting the services he or she may deliver. That's a little shorter program." Nichelson has owned his own barber shop in Winter Park since 1986. He serves as a State Barber Board examiner for Florida and hopes one day to sit as a member of the board. Financial assistance might be available for full time attendance. Visit Westside Tech's campus at 955 E. Story Road in Winter Garden, or call 407-905-2000 for more information.
Westside Tech is a vocational division of Orange County Public Schools with a wide selection of job preparation and academic programs for adult and secondary students. Ross' barbering program is a part of Westside's Human Services section, which also includes courses for cosmetologists, facials/skin care specialists and manicurists/pedicurists. Ross' last mention in the news came in the form of a delightful commentary published in 2003 by the Orlando Sentinel. When not instructing at Westside Tech or giving his trademark flattops at Joe's B.S., Ross enjoys woodworking, classic tools and travel.
Photo Credit: West Orange Times