Opening of cosmetology school in Williston promotes new opportunities

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 2:57 PM CST
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KFYR) - A dream over two years in the making. After much blood, sweat, and tears, Leticia Ortiz finally saw the fruits of her labor realized on March 1: The Hair Society Institute.

“It was pretty emotional to know that it was finally completed. It’s been a lot of hours; a lot of days with no rest for a long time,” she explained.

Being a cosmetology school, HSI grants students licenses and state certification for a number of programs like nails and Esthetics. Each program has a certain number of hours one must complete to receive certification.

“It’s been amazing,” says Brandi Sorg, a cosmetology student. “I’m learning a lot in little time.”

But perhaps the biggest benefit to this new school is how it provides teaching here in northwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana. For those who are unable to travel long distances to learn cosmetology, HSI gives people in the region a chance to follow their dreams and provide services in their hometowns.

“I would have had to move in order to go to a nail school. With this new school I only have to drive an hour,” Crystal Hanna, a nail technician student from Keene explains. “That made it with my children and husband doable. It would not have been doable anywhere else. I would have had to move.”

Ortiz also runs local salon Hair Safari. For her, the hope is that HSI can improve the employment situation she and others around the area have faced.

“As an employer, I’ve always struggled with finding employable professionals... It’s a need for this region,” she explains.

Classes vary from 10 weeks to 13 months. Ortiz says they will have several classes run throughout the year.

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