Cosmetology school sees enrollment increase

Twin sisters Blair and Jenna Johnson do just about everything together – including attend cosmetology school.

The sisters are two of 63 students in Catawba Valley Community College’s cosmetology school, a program experiencing record enrollment.

“It’s because the economy has been so bad,” said instructor Joyce Thomas. “People are looking for work where they’re going to get a job in the field, and everybody’s always going to get their hair done. It’s guaranteed.”

CVCC hired three new instructors for its current semester to accommodate increasing enrollment. The school, located at 119 N. College Ave. in Newton, now has three full-time and two part-time teachers.

“Because enrollment is so high, we wanted to add more instructors,” Thomas said. “Now, we’re able to take more time with the students and make them better at what they do.” Cosmetology students range in age from 16 to 35 and come from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels.

“They’re from every race, religion and background that you can think of,” Thomas said. Many of Thomas’ older students are displaced workers who lost their jobs in the economic downturn and wanted a career change.

“It’s the artistic side (of cosmetology) that people love,” Thomas said. “They’re going to be able to create and make something.”