RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - There hasn't been a barber college in South Dakota in more than 30 years, but now there is, and it's right here in Rapid City.
Students are gaining new skills. (KOTA)
"This is a brand new endeavor to our industry and obviously a lot of job opportunities for students," says the instructor for South Dakota Barber College, Donnie Joseph.
Joseph says barbering is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States.
"Here in South Dakota, there is only 150 or so licensed barbers. So that means there is a ton of opportunities for people that are getting their barber license. Especially as we're going to see Rapid City grow," says Joseph.
The school will be offering public services starting June 9, and will focus on haircuts, shaves, and shampoos, and later on, the plan is to offer coloring services and facial massages.
"We focus on teaching them not only how to be successful at cutting hair, but how to be successful at running a business," says Joseph.
For the 13 students currently enrolled, the school provides new opportunities.
"I had always had barbering in the back of my mind, but never thought it was going to happen because I have two kids and been married 19 years. So I couldn't really up and leave and go to school. And then this school opened up, and it was like wow, I guess I'm going," says a student, Jacob Rapp.
The Barber College is providing free haircuts from June 9-July 6 in exchange for a cash or non-perishable food donation. Those proceeds will be donated to Feeding South Dakota.