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MATC Offers Bilingual Barber/Cosmetology Apprenticeship Program
Dec. 19, 2014
A bilingual Barbering and Cosmetology Apprenticeship program is being offered by Milwaukee Area Technical College to help Spanish-speaking students strengthen their English language skills while preparing for a career as a barber or cosmetologist. The first year of instruction is held at MATC’s Education Center at Walker’s Square, 816 W. National Ave. Students meet Mondays and Tuesdays each week. Monday classes focus on barber/cosmetology theory and Tuesday classes center on English communication as it relates to the field.
Students attend traditional barber/cosmetology apprentice classes at MATC’s Downtown Milwaukee Campus for an additional year or two after the first year of bilingual classes.
The State of Wisconsin currently offers the barber/cosmetology apprentice licensing exam only in English, so the bilingual program is expected to help Spanish-speaking apprentices pass the required exam.
The bilingual program started in the fall 2014 semester. A new group of students will begin classes in January.
An apprenticeship requires an agreement between an employer and the State of Wisconsin. Interested employees apply directly the barbershop or salon and are paid for their work by the employer. The barbershop/salon must be licensed, have been in business at least one year and have a manager on record with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Current students are very pleased with the program. “I am thankful for this new program because it has helped me expand my understanding of English cosmetology terms,” said Ana Echevese. “I know this will help open doors for me wherever I go in the future.”
Student Alberto Alcauter said, “I am 53 years old. I have the opportunity to return to school and get a degree at this point in my life. The bilingual program has given me the opportunity to achieve my objective even though my age and my language skills make it difficult to learn English. I am profoundly grateful, for myself and my classmates, to have such an excellent professional program, and for giving us the opportunity for continued improvement.”
Admission requirements depend on the employer, but a high school diploma or GED is highly recommended. Students must be at least 18 years old, 17 years old with a high school diploma, or 16 years old and currently in high school. Employers may have additional requirements. Partial credit may be offered for previous training.
Employers must contact Hafeezah Amah at (414) 297-6348 to set up the contract with the state. Prospective students may direct questions to Roxanne Christian at (414) 571-4638 or those who speak Spanish only may contact Rebeca Carrillo-Michels at (414) 297-7801.