• Polished Hair and Nails: A Great Local Landing Place for PTC Students

    Polished Hair and Nails is a well-regarded hair and nails salon in Denver that demands excellence from its employees. Owner Lisa Hintgen provides fast, easy, yet relaxing hair and nail beauty services to her community near the border of Stapleton. “With everyone leading such busy lives, it is wonderful to be able to get your most important grooming services done at the same time,” she says.

    Pickens Technical College is a great training ground for Polished Hair and Nails because its cosmetology program is dedicated to putting its students in real-world situations doing real work on real customers. Students in this program can also practice their skills by working at PTC’s very own salon, a great place for them to train and hone their skills, as well as get a beautiful manicure.

    The PTC Cosmetology Program is designed to first train all students in the concepts and small skills they will need to work at a local business like Polished Hair and Nails, get their students the required number of hours and training to be certified as a cosmetology professional, and practice in real-world settings.

    Instructor Shirleen Woods has 20 years of teaching experience and over 35 total years of experience in the cosmetology field. Her students are always prepared to get their start in the cosmetology field, and local companies like Polished Hair and Nails are happy to hire students from PTC’s cosmetology classrooms.

    Some of Woods’ students took part in this year’s SkillsUSA program, a competition in all kinds of vocational skills that pits the best students in areas like cosmetology and even automotive proficiencies against each other. Three of Woods’ students made the national competition in cosmetology. Woods says that the competition, like her own classroom, “prepares the students for taking the State exam and a career in this field because the competition develops their ability to work under stressful conditions.” She says that her students have to “learn to be flexible and adaptable because clients may change their mind at the last minute regarding the service they want and as a professional you have to be ready to handle that gracefully.”

    By the time you reach graduation from PTC’s Cosmetology Program, you’ll already be experienced in how to deal with difficult customers, how to make people happy with your nail and hair work, and even how to run a proper nail and hair business. This experience and skill is invaluable to Polished Hair and Nails owner Hintgen, who is always looking for skilled workers to put her business on the map and continue to grow in its community near Stapleton.

    Polished Hair and Nails is one of the many businesses in the Denver area that greatly appreciates the professional skills that PTC students walk into the labor pool with. You can learn the skills that will get you a position with a local business at PTC. The Cosmetology Program is only one of many examples of PTC departments that link students directly to employers.

  • Cosmetology Students at the SkillsUSA Competition

    Pickens Technical College and its cosmetology program are highly involved in the community of Aurora and Denver, turning up to cut hair for the homeless or competing against other cosmetology students at the SkillsUSA competition held every year.

    This year, several PTC cosmetology students participated in the highly skilled, highly competitive skills challenges and brought home some honors for their school and program.

    The PTC cosmetology program prepares students not only to cut hair and make people look good, but also how to build the connections and relationships that will one day make their small nails and makeup business take off.

    Teaching students in the cosmetology program is Shirleen Woods, a veteran teacher with 20 years of instruction experience under her belt and 35 years in the industry overall. Her clients don’t forget her, and even though she devotes her time to her students at PTC, she still sees a few long-time clients to help them with hair troubles. She teaches the Nail Technology program at PTC now after teaching at the Emily Griffin Opportunity School for ten years. She knows what it takes to be a successful nail, skin, and hair expert, and offers her students plenty of opportunities to practice and hone their skills.

    And there may not be a better place for students to hone their skills in a competitive setting than by participating in SkillsUSA challenges. From state to national competitions, SkillsUSA pits students of many disciplines in technical and human services industries against each other for prizes and bragging rights. Training for these events is rigorous, and only the top students in each group succeed.

    In the cosmetology section of SkillsUSA, students must demonstrate their technical skill in haircutting, hair styling, and long hair design in four independent tests. These contests are controlled and fair, with each student using mannequins each with the same type of hair. Students have to create a 90-degree woman’s haircut and a woman’s and man’s cut from a finished photo provided them. Students present their mannequin to the audience and the judges onstage.

    These exciting skills competitions quickly teach students how they can improve and how the real business of cutting hair can be. Even working independently for their own businesses after graduation, they will be competing with others to show they can cut hair better.

    PTC students showed well at the SkillsUSA competition a few weeks ago, with several students, including Leycha Albino , earning recognition in nail care, and others earning accolades in hair care and more.

    With more students entering the cosmetology industry from PTC, there are bound to be more quality hair and nail care salons in the Denver area in the next few years. PTC students have proven their skill at these events time and time again. Their instructors and mentors couldn’t be more proud when their students show up and perform well against fierce competitors from around the state and around the country.