A new statewide association of salon and spa professionals is backing a legislative proposal in New York that would require industry workers be educated to recognized signs of abuse.
Democratic state Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner of the 113th district has authored a bill that would require cosmetologists and barbers complete 36 hours of continuing education in order to renew their license. Four of those hours would be dedicated toward recognizing the sings of domestic abuse and human trafficking.
Speaking at Nuance, a boutique salon in the Saratoga County town of Malta Friday, Woerner said:
“In Saratoga County, domestic violence is the number one cause of homicides and it’s really important that all of us have an awareness of what the resources are and how to gently guide somebody on a path to extricate themselves from that difficult situation,” said Woerner.
Nuance salon owner Holly Garofano…
“Some guests share their personal stories with us knowing they’re in a safe place to do so free of judgment or repercussions. We need the education to know how to gently provide our guests with resources to help them be free of toxic and harmful situations,” said Garofano.
Garofano’s salon Friday served as a launch pad for the new New York State Association of Salon and Spa Professionals, which is backing Woerner’s legislation.
Garofano’s husband, Todd Garofano, who is serving as Executive Director, was previously president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. He says until now, cosmetologists, barbers, estheticians, and the nail industry have been largely unrepresented in Albany.
“Our mission is really simple. It’s to advocate, educate, and elevate,” said Todd Garofano.
The organization was formed to advocate for the industry that includes 40,000 license holders and businesses in New York.
It will also connect personnel and business owners across the state.
Marcella Hammer, an owner of Glitter Nail Bar in Saratoga Springs, says she encountered challenges when starting her business.
“There really aren’t many assets out there for someone who is new to the industry trying to understand the whole licensing requirements, what it takes,” said Hammer.
Hammer sees the Association as an asset for individuals with all levels of experience in the industry.
In the process of forming the association, Todd Garofano said organizers realized there is a lack of education standards across different disciplines of the beauty industry.
“And finding that your industry works with, our industry works with potentially dangerous chemicals, tools that can hurt people, always changing products and so-forth and our feeling is that continuing education is absolutely vital,” said Todd Garofano.