Paul Mitchell ends contract with Tri-Tech Skills Center

Paul Mitchell ends contract with Tri-Tech Skills Center

A very difficult decision was made by the Paul Mitchell the School Richland hair school to not renew its contract with Tri-Tech Skills Center of the Kennewick School District (KSD) earlier in June. Tri-Tech skills center offers trade training for high school students across the Tri-Cities.

Some of the vocations offered to students include health care, firefighting and cosmetology.

Over the past several years many junior high school students enrolled in the Paul Mitchell two year cosmetology program, to start their 1600 hours of training, required to obtain a cosmetology license.

Typically high school students would attend Paul Mitchell the School Richland for three hours a day, five days a week.

By their senior year of high school they usually still have several hours to complete to obtain their cosmetology license.

Students would then finish out the training through Paul Mitchell for a substantially lower price than it would have been for students to attend Paul Mitchell without going through the Tri-Tech Skills Center.

Students who were participating in the two year program before the contract agreement was not renewed will now complete their training elsewhere.

Our reporters reached out to Paul Mitchell the School Richland to find out why they chose not to renew its contract with KSD and here is what they had to say,

“Paul Mitchell the School Richland has grown and is continuing to grow. We have to look at the future and giving the students the best education that we could possibly give them. This goes for both Paul Mitchell the School Richland students and the Tri-Tech students. We felt that we were limited on doing that with the facility constraints. We hope to continue to have a great relationship with Tri-Tech.”

Thank you,

Emily Ransier


Paul Mitchell the School Richland

We also reached out to the district to gain better insight on this issue and here is how their official explained it.

Tri-Tech Skills Center typically contracts with two providers to deliver the program. Students get to choose between the programs based on availability. Proximity to where they live usually determines which program they preference. Last year, the providers were Paul Mitchell and Victoria’s Academy of Cosmetology.

A Request For Proposal (RFP) is sent out each year to determine who next year’s provider(s) will be. Next school year, Tri-Tech Skills Center will be contracting with one nationally certified program, rather than two. The contract is in the process of being finalized.

There are nine students in the Paul Mitchell program this year that would be second-year students next year. They will all be accepted into the program at the other school as advanced level students. The hours earned by the students are transferable between schools.

For 2016-17 there were a total of 34 students in the Paul Mitchell program. Based on pre-enrollment numbers, we anticipate 40-50 in the 2017-18 program total next year. Students and their parents were notified of the change a week ago.”

Robyn Chastain

Director of Communications and Public Relations
Kennewick School District

When our team asked this same KSD official to speak to a representative of the Tri-Tech Skills Center this is was the response.

“We are not interested in speaking about this topic at this time because next year’s contract has not been finalized and we don’t want to speak on behalf of Paul Mitchell as to why they chose not to respond to the RFP

On June 6, 2017 Tri-Tech issued this statement to parents of students who may be impacted by the contract decision saying in part,

“This letter is to let you know that here is a change in cosmetology service providers for the 2017-2018 school year. As you may have heard Paul Mitchell The School of Richland informed Tri-Tech that they would not be serving Tri-Tech students in the 2017-2018 school year due to space constraints. We have been working diligently the past month to explore different solutions to continue our relationship with Paul Mitchell The School of Richland but have been unsuccessful and were informed Friday, June 2, that they would not be able to serve students. We apologize for the lateness of this notification but we have good news in that our other cosmetology training provider Victoria’s Academy of Cosmetology is able to meet the need. We will be working with your student’s homeschool counselor to facilitate the change of registrations for students that wish to attend Victoria’s.

Regarding our beginning cosmetology students there is $100 dollar registration fee and a kit fee of $250 dollars. If there is a financial barrier to meeting these fees please contact me and we will explore other resources to meet the need.

As far as second year students Victoria’s will work with any who want to continue their training to facilitate the transfer of their hours from Paul Mitchell. Second year students will be able to use the kits they purchased last year for this year’s program and the registration fee will be waived. These student’s skills will be evaluated and most will be readty to be out on the clinic floor as 2 nd year students. Upon high school graduation the students will have the option to continue on as adults at Victoria’s or ask to transfer back to Paul Mitchell to complete.

An additional bit of good news is that summer school will be available to both incoming and returning students. If your student is interested in attending summer school please complete and return the enclosed application by Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in order to reserve a spot. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. If you have any registration questions, please contact your child’s counselor at their home school.”

One parent expressed her response to the contract agreement that impacted her student,

“My issue is dumping the high school students midway through the program. I attended the new student orientation in the fall, met staff and shook hands with the Boise-based owner, Lou Starita. There was no discussion then, or during the year, that these students would be cut off at the end of their junior year. No contract was shared or posted showing these students were unprotected. I believe this owner owes it to the juniors, who have successfully complete their first year, to be grandfathered in until their final (second) year of training is complete. I believe it’s just a few students and they only need one teacher. Why can’t the school fund that and make good on the commitment,” said one KSD parent.

Paul Mitchell has a right within the contract between KSD to renew or not renew each year.

This year Paul Mitchell exercised its right within the contract to not renew for the 2017-2018 school year.