Often referred to as the "other 4-year degree," apprenticeships are gaining popularity and replacing the traditional college path for many career-oriented young people who prefer to earn as they learn. From November 12th through the 18th, National Apprenticeship Week highlights this career path once thought to be an outdated way to learn a trade.
The Arizona Apprenticeship Office under the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) is continuously expanding the number of registered apprenticeship opportunities available to its residents. Apprenticeships, which were once only available in trades such as manufacturing and construction, are now emerging in fields including cyber and information technology (IT), healthcare, sales, professional services, and more. This year kicks-off the apprenticeship journey for Arizona barber, Lana Cantrell, and her first apprentice.
Cantrell moved to Arizona in 2012 from California after she lost everything, including her career as an instructor at the Paul Mitchell School. Determined to turn her personal tragedy into triumph, she began to volunteer and cut hair on military bases, in homeless shelters, and for children in foster care awaiting adoption. She then enrolled in [email protected]’s SOAR program, a series of classes designed to help job seekers turn their talents and passions into a gainful career.
“I was on a mission and [email protected] gave me the path to reach my goals,” said Cantrell who completed the program in Barbering and went on to secure her Barber Instructor License.
Cantrell was determined to train others who shared her passion for barbering. She credits [email protected] for the path to make her career dreams a reality.
“Not only did this program help me professionally, but it also helped me personally to replace my shattered pieces with opportunities for new beginnings.”
In 2018, the State of Arizona’s Barber Intelligence Program was approved by the Senate and Cantrell humbly accepted the opportunity to be Arizona’s first barber to register and offer a registered apprenticeship program. Today, she continues to mentor in her Phoenix-based barbershop.
The DES Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services (DERS), plays an integral role in improving Arizona's workforce by assisting individuals who are unemployed and underemployed, and those with barriers to employment, to prepare for and obtain rewarding employment. For more information about the Arizona Apprenticeship Program, please visit www.AZApprenticeship.com.
By Jillian Seamans