The aim of the ambassador program is to spread the word of education and training opportunities at the college through barbers, who often have a close bond with clients. They are often the ones to hear if a guy who is getting their haircut — or someone the client knows — is looking for a job or better career opportunities, Harris said.
Participating barbers will share information and literature about programs at the college. Harris said the sharing at the barber shop is an additional way to spread the word for those who didn’t learn about opportunities through social media or other traditional avenues.
Harris and his team have been visiting barbershops to recruit participants and held a formal orientation breakfast on Monday.
Longtime barber Lebert Fitzgerald Lester ll, owner of, It’s A Gee Thang Barber Salon & Spa at 2404 Main Street in Harford, said, “It’s a phenomenal idea.”
Fitzgerald said barbers are an integral part of the community, some trusted for generations in a family, and keepers of secrets, so they hear it all.
“It’s going to be wonderful to tell the young men there are opportunities. … I believe this is going to be a powerful program,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re like therapists, a confidant. The client allows you into his personal space.”
Harris said that aside from academic opportunities, the college designed to serve the community offers other relatively short-term training programs that can lead to good-paying jobs.
For instance, last semester the college offered a five-week introduction to manufacturing course that can help get a person get “a foot in the door,” with an entry-level job.
Also last semester, in partnership with Eversource, the college offered an 11-week program to train people to become linemen.
Barbers interested in learning about the program can email [email protected].