Governor Wolf calls to reform job licensing

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Governor Wolf announces his plan to reform Pennsylvania's job licensing system by eliminating job licenses for 13 professions. Among the processions that would be impacted are barbers.

For the owner of Be Encouraged Barber Shop in Harrisburg, being a barber is much deeper than a job, it's almost a way of life.

"Barbering is more than just cutting hair, and making money," said Dannie Elliott, Be Encouraged Midtown Barbershop owner. "It's being able to recognize something that's going on with the scalp, and recognize something that, being able to communicate with people. It's more than just making money."

in 1981, Elliott went to school to become a barber, passed an exam, completed 1,200 hours of training, registered with the State Board of Barber Examiners, and because a licensed barber. Every two years since then, Elliott has has to renew his barber shop license and manager renewal. It used to cost him about $130 until a few years ago. Now, it costs more than $400. Elliott believes the price is a burden for some barbers.

"Especially if you don't have that clientele to help you," said Elliott. "Especially if you got responsibility, you got children. "

The process of becoming a licensed barber could soon change. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf called on the General Assembly Thursday to repeal 13 job licenses, including barbers, and replace them with less restrictive requirements.

Overall Elliott thinks the Governor's announcement is positive but he still has some concerns. He believes eliminating licenses may create more riff-raff int eh barber community, with more people becoming barbers without appreciating the profession as an art.

"It will be just about making money and that's it," said Elliott. "And when that right there happens, people are just gonna come off the streets you know, having attitudes and stuff like that and it's gonna cause more chaos."

These are the job licenses that the governor is looking to repeal :

  • Auctioneers, only require registration and bonding.
  • Barbers, only require certification from a licensed barber school, passage of examination, minimum hours of training, and registration with the State Board of Barber Examiners.
  • Cemetery Broker/Cemetery Salesperson, only require passage of relevant examination, 60 hours of instruction and registration.
  • Campground Membership Salesperson, only require registration with the State Real Estate Commission.
  • Natural Hair Braiding License, eliminate this license.
  • Orthotic fitter/Orthotist/Pedorthist/Prosthetist, only require credentialing, passage of an education program, training, and minimum hours of training.
  • Practitioner of Oriental Medicine, maintain existing, but separate acupuncturist licensing requirement to protect public health and safety.
  • Rental Listing Referral Agent, only require registration with the State Real Estate Commission.
  • Vehicle Factory Representative, only require registrations with the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers, and Salepersons. 
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