Following is the weekly Republican radio address from State Senator Lisa Keim.
To become a hairdresser in the State of Maine, you must be at least 17 years old, complete a 1,500-hour course of instruction at a registered institution or undertake 2,500 apprenticeship hours, pass a licensing exam, and pay the State of Maine a $20 fee each year.
the Maine legislature should take another look at these requirements,
especially since it only takes 133 hours to become a Basic EMT. That’s why I
recently presented LD 890, a bill to expand access to licensure in certain occupations.
I’m Senator Lisa Keim. I’m honored to represent District 18 which includes
northern Oxford County and the towns of Livermore and Livermore Falls in
I would like to acknowledge that Maine has made progress in removing
unnecessary barriers to employment for entrepreneurs and those improvements
have helped countless individuals reach their goals.
we still have a long way to go to ensure that our occupational licensing
requirements are equitable and appropriate. Parameters to determine how high to
set the bar for entry into any licensed profession should be set taking into
consideration worst-case scenarios.
quality, in today’s age of online reviews and connectedness through social
media, word-of-mouth provides consumers with adequate information to make
no doubt that a bad haircut can be upsetting, but the risk to public health is
relatively low. The fundamental reason for licensing is to ensure safety for
the public. The quality of a haircut given by someone who went to a licensed
institution vs. the apprentice route may or may not differ greatly, but that
consideration is outside the interests of the state to ensure.
licensure, the same state exam is required either way.
has been decades since the hourly stipulation for cosmetology licensure has
been considered. I would like to see Maine become a leader in restructuring
overly-burdensome requirements by reducing the hours required of a student
consideration is in step with the Maine Legislature’s focus on addressing the
issue of student debt. The cost of cosmetology schools is out of line with
other degrees when considering the rate of pay expected upon completion. By
setting such a high hourly requirement for the apprenticeship pathway, 2,500
hours, we make costly institutions the only viable choice to complete the
pathway in a timely manner.
in Maine, the cost of cosmetology school is more than half of the median annual
income for hairdressers. Consequently cosmetology is one of the top ten
professions to default on student loans. I think it’s time to revise the
pathway to careers in hairdressing and cosmetology.
communities benefit from expanded apprenticeship programs, as these increase
engagement with the business community, encourage our workers to stay here in
Maine by increasing their local ties, and provide affordable pathways to an
education that leads directly to a good-paying job.
up-and-coming workers also benefit greatly from expanded apprenticeship
opportunities because they can ‘earn while they learn.’ Most importantly, it
allows people to begin their career saddled with little or no student loan
many, apprenticing can be the most viable way to enter the workforce, and in
Maine, we have an opportunity to make this more available for them. I am hopeful
that through LD 890, we can make meaningful reforms.
Thanks for listening. Again, I’m Senator Lisa Keim.