Every year, Skills USA holds an annual National Leadership and Skills Conference. This event is a platform to demonstrate career and technical education in which more than 16,000 students, teachers, and business partners participate. Part of the event is the national championship for 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields, including cosmetology. This year, the Skills USA National Cosmetology Champion title went to Laura Coronel from Bloomington High School in Illinois.
What is the National Cosmetology Competition?
The National Cosmetology Competition is the culmination of several local and regional competitions held throughout the year by Skills USA to determine the top student in the field. This event is held during the annual leadership and skills conference, which in 2015 was held in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 22 to the 26.
What Does it Take to Qualify?
The local and regional contests are open to any students who are active Skills USA members in their high school or college that have paid all membership dues. To make it to the national competition, a contestant must place first at the state level. The alternate will take the place of the winner if the winner is unable to compete for any reason. Contestants must also attend a mandatory contest orientation meeting during the conference.
How Do Cosmetology Students Demonstrate their Skills?
During the contests, students work on mannequins, giving everyone an even playing field with the same type of hair. They have to perform one women’s 90 degree haircut, one men’s and one women’s cut based on a photo, and one long hair segment where they can be creative and demonstrate their own design skills.
Meet Laura Coronel
The 2015 champion, Laura Coronel, recently graduated from Bloomington High School in Illinois. This was her second attempt at the Skills USA competition, according to the Pantagraph. During her junior year, which was her first year in cosmetology school, Coronel entered the competition and placed 15th in her state. After the competition, she knew she could do better, so she entered again this year. In addition to her cosmetology work at the high school, she also enrolled in college level classes at Bloomington’s Hairmasters Institute of Cosmetology. The additional coursework provided her with additional skills, which led to her winning first place in the sate competition, sending her to the nationals.
How Does Winning Help Coronel?
Coronel is still in cosmetology school, and her national title will most likely help her in her future career. She also has the chance to compete at the World Skills competition in 2017 as the first place winner at the national level. She plans to complete school in September and start work. After the completion of her program, she will have to sit for her state board’s licensing exam. Then, she will have to find a place to work, and may choose to specialize in a certain area of cosmetology, such as becoming a hair color specialist.
With the addition of Skills USA National Champion on her resume, she should be able to find a job at one of the top salons in her area. She may also have to undergo advanced training to prepare for competing at the world competition, which will also prepare her for a successful career.
Programs like Skills USA are in place to help students prepare themselves for a variety of technical jobs, including cosmetology. It not only allows students the opportunity to showcase their skills, but it also can provide valuable resources for learning important skills for a future career.
For those who already have their cosmetology license, you need to keep up with your continuing education to renew your license. The programs at Beauty Academy are online, cost-effective and hassle free options for ensuring you meet your state requirements.