Investigation halts job search for local cosmetology graduates



Posted on March 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 25 at 9:41 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—License testing was still on hold for cosmetology students across the state of  Washington on Tuesday. The Department of Licensing shutdown a sub-contractor over concerns that the tests were not being given fairly.

The delay meant local graduates could not get jobs. Because classes were ongoing at places, like Total Cosmetology, new rounds of graduates were constantly entering the workforce and looking for their first jobs. Those graduates have been stuck at a standstill.

“I'm getting ready to graduate next month. Early next month. And I can't test,” said student Laquan Sanders.

It came as a surprise to students and staff when the Department of Licensing notified schools that all practical testing in Spokane was discontinued.

“We were really shocked. I talked to the owner and some of our senior instructors who've been in the business for many years. And they said this is the first time in probably 40 years or more this has ever happened,” said Sanders.

Graduates were forced to sit and wait.

“It's disappointing, knowing we put in all this work at school, and now we're ready to finish. And we can't complete the task at hand,” said Sanders.

The State Department of Licensing told KREM 2 News it received numerous complaints and requests for appeal about testing done by contractor Ergo Metrics.

“If the student, at the very least, picked up their scissors and combed the mannequin they would have received at least some points. But they'd receive a zero,” said Total Cosmetology Admission Director Patty Stanley.

The Department of Licensing told KREM 2 News the concerns have been addressed and when testing resumes it will be an improvement for all students.

As of Tuesday, graduates can schedule their test for licenses. The actual testing does not get underway until early April.