Longtime Penn-Mar resident Cindy Lippy wants to get into one of the most recession-proof industries around – the beauty industry, and specifically a hair salon. This is a smart move because while people cut back on expenses during tough economic times, they rarely give up on getting their hair cut or styled.
Importantly for Cindy, 54, a Carroll County native, finding a job in a hair salon would mean working in an environment she enjoys, and doing a job she discovered, through Penn-Mar’s Customized Employment (CE) program, that she loves – washing hair. Her goal is to find a job as a shampoo assistant.
Discovering Her Passion
Over the years, Cindy has held various jobs in the community, primarily in janitorial services. Until fairly recently she worked at American Cooling Technology in York, Pa.; unfortunately, due to restructuring, her position was eliminated. In no time, however, Penn-Mar’s CE team was on the case and began working with Cindy through the program’s Exploration & Discovery (E&D) process – a person-centered approach to identifying Cindy’s talents and skills, and job interests that could ultimately be matched with an employer and a job opportunity.
“One important thing Cindy expressed to us as we went through the E&D process, was that she no longer was interested in working in the custodial field,” said Penn-Mar Career Counselor, Anthony Bubczyk, who has been with the nonprofit for the past six years and has known Cindy for a while. “She wants to do something that she likes as opposed to something that would just pay her bills or give her extra money.”
“I was doing a lot of cleaning in the other jobs. It was getting a little tiring for me,” Cindy added.
Part of E&D, a process that takes between four to six weeks, involves activities and skill training exercises that help to reveal and bolster a person’s talents and abilities. Participating in these exercises, Cindy got the opportunity to wash someone’s hair. The result from that experience, said Anthony, was that Cindy was able to identify what she wanted to do and where she wanted to work. The power of the E&D process is exactly that: it provides a person the chance to uncover abilities they never thought they had, and goals they thought they might never reach.
Within a short period of time, Anthony arranged for Cindy to spend a day at the Empire Beauty School in York, where she toured the facility, shadowed the instructors, and was given the chance to braid hair.
“I enjoyed the experience,” Cindy said. “I got to talk with the women at the school, who explained a lot about working in a salon.”
Next Step: Finding Her Dream Job
Cindy loves to take care of her own hair and dyes it herself. Right now it’s a strawberry blonde, her go-to color, but she said she’s experimented with black and even burgundy. To be able to take her passion for hair care into a salon would be a dream come true.
Understandably, salons can be busy places and although Cindy is very eager to find a job as a shampoo assistant, washing clients’ hair, she’s excited to learn new things and take on other tasks that might include stocking hair products, collecting towels, and sweeping up hair clippings.
“Cindy is such a pleasant person with skills that would be an asset to any salon,” said Anthony. “We want to find her an ideal position and have begun approaching area businesses that might be interested in working with us to give her a chance at a line of work she discovered she truly loves.”
“I really want to be a part of a team,” said Cindy. “I’m social, I like people, and I like to work. I would work very hard if I had a job at a hair salon.”
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Dear Reader: If you or someone you know owns a hair salon in North Baltimore, Carroll, or Southern York Counties, and would be interested in learning more about Penn-Mar’s Customized Employment Program and to meet Cindy, please contact Anthony Bubczyk, at 410.343.1069 ext. 255, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.