TAZEWELL, VA (WOAY) – At the Tazewell County Career and Technical Center, students get the chance to study a specific trade while they finish high school.
These trades include things like practical nursing, auto service, cosmetology and more.
Vanessa Williams is a senior at the Technical Center, where she’s studied cosmetology. She’s finished the program in two years instead of the typical three.
Vanessa has also worked at a local salon while finishing school and is completing her high school education with a year of experience under her belt.
“I’m overwhelmed really,” Williams said. “I’m glad I got to get a year of experience before I graduated, because it helped me make sure it is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Vanessa also already has her state license in cosmetology since this past July. She’s also one of the first co-op students with the Technical Center. She thanked her teachers for giving her so much support during her studies.
“She’s a great student,” Cosmetology Teacher Sarah Cooke said. “She came in eager to learn from the first day out. She was ready to get in and do hair, she had a passion and desire to further her education, and she continues to do that even today. So I can see her tuning into a great hairdresser.”
And on top of everything she’s already done, she’s graduating with a full-time job already lined up at Beauty Concepts, the local salon in Bluefield where she got her first year of experience.
The salon’s owner Kathy Rahall says hiring Vanessa straight out of high school will help her transition into the workforce.
“She gets to know all of our customers, and it gives them an opportunity for them to get to know her,” Rahall said. “And I really think she’s gonna walk right into our clientele.”
Other students highlighted during Senior Decision Day were in nursing, auto service and masonry.