In August 2018, Chance Shelton, 23, enrolled in YouthWorks!, a career-development program for Out-of-School Youth and young adults (18-24) operated by KRA for the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC).
James LeBlanc, KRA Program Manager, reported, “After working with our Career Exploration Team (CET), which was focused on assessing Chance’s job skills and career interests, it was clear that his passion was to become a Master Barber and one day own his own barbershop.”
The CET agreed that Chance was “workforce-ready”, so LeBlanc contacted Derrick Adair, owner of Unique Looks Barbershop, who agreed to a 200-hour ‘earn & learn’ Work Experience (WEX) arrangement during which, he could assess Chance’s potential to participate in a Barbering Apprenticeship, a requirement to become a Master Barber.
Barbering is not a traditional YouthWorks! apprenticeship, but recognizing the value of this unique opportunity, AAWDC approved the WEX, which Chance has now completed, with Adair applying Chance’s 200 hours to the Barbering Apprenticeship minimum (2,250) and the Maryland licensing requirement (2,500).
Adair put Chance on a regular work schedule so he can continue to “earn & learn”, and commented, “Chance is an excellent student who has a passion for the trade. I can teach barbering, but I can’t teach ‘want-to’. Chance has the ‘want to” to make this his career and own a shop one day.”
Chance expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, and the support received from YouthWorks!, stating, “They put me in a paid internship, supplied me with a starter tool-set and bought me the barbering text-book I needed. Mr. James [LeBlanc] and his team are the best and I am so grateful for Mr. Derrick [Adair] for showing me the ropes to get me started in my career!”