KEYSER - Beginning with the second semester of the current school year , the Mineral County Technical Center will offer a cosmetology program to Mineral County students.

By Marcia Conrad
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Beginning with the second semester of the current school year , the Mineral County Technical Center will offer a cosmetology program to Mineral County students.
The new program will be offered in conjunction with South Branch Career and Technical Center in Petersburg, and will provide students with 270 hours of theory in cosmetology. While this program is not a direct path to state license, it
provides students with the beginning theory classes at no cost to them.
According to Mandy Rader, owner of Mane Street Studios in Keyser and lead theory instructor at Cutting Edge School of Hair Design at South Branch Career and Technical Center, the initial program will be open only to seniors to start with, but perhaps it will be open to others in the future.
While students at the Mineral County Technical Center will not be working on live clients, they will do many hours of
classroom work and practical work on mannequins.
Rader will be the theory instructor for the Technical Center.
Students who complete the 270 hours of theory education at MCTC will then receive a discounted tuition from South Branch to complete the program. While tuition at South Branch is $5 per hour, students who go on from the MCTC will receive a reduced rate of $4 per hour. It takes 1,000 hours to become a licensed hair-cutter and
1,800 hours to become a licensed cosmetologist, which includes hair, nails, make-up, and waxing.
Offering the program to seniors will be an opportunity to gauge the interest in offering a full-time program in the county.
Offering the program in Mineral County was the joint effort of Mineral County superintendent of schools Shawn Dilly and director of South Branch Career and Technical Center Tracy Chenoweth.
According to Chenoweth, they are really excited to have the program being offered at Mineral County. The program has room for 20 students but they are hoping to have a initial enrollment of five to ten.
Chenoweth says that while many technical programs are geared to male students, this is an opportunity for girls to take advantage of the technical center as well. The 270 hours they can get at the Vo- Tech here is the first step to becoming licensed hair-cutters or cosmetologists. The hours
at the Vo-Tech are 100 percent tuition free, which is a big savings for students.
Partnering together, Mineral County and South Branch offer a substantial savings for students.
“Anything we can do to work together makes it better for the students and better for the taxpayers,” Chenoweth says.
Students must have a minimum of 250 hours of classroom work before they can work on live clients. There is a lot of science—biology and physiology—that students
must learn before doing hands-on work on live clients.
With an industry standard salary of $19 to $45 per hour, after passing the state license exam, students have the potential of making a good salary.
Chenoweth says cosmetology is becoming a lost art, and that students who complete the necessary hours
are true artists. Students who participate in the program at South Branch do many hours of practice for the state exam, but the exam is given only in Charleston.
For information on the program, interested parties can contact Mandy Rader at 304-790-1611 or Tracy Chenoweth at South Branch Career and Technical Center at 304-257-1331.