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2015 Champion Mary Rose Stuart

New hairstylist finds work a cut above former jobs

Mary Rose Stuart 2 rs Ontario’s manufacturing sector can be an engine of growth but, in terms of job creation, it can at times be stuck in low gear.

Mary Rose Stuart was able to break free of the cyclical nature of manufacturing layoffs when she upgraded her education and landed a job she truly loves.

The 31-year-old Brantford resident and mother of a four-year-old son was 15 when she left high school, taking jobs in the service industry and at a call centre to support herself.

She had long been interested in a career as a hairstylist but said, until recently, she “could never put it into play.”

“With her employment insurance coming to an end, Mary Rose had a tough decision to make,” said Gerry Baldin of CareerLink Community Employment Centre, who nominated Mary Rose as an Education WORKS Champion. “She could either follow her dream and try to get the ball rolling very quickly, or she could take the much easier path by re-entering the manufacturing world.”

Mary Rose turned to the Bridges to Success program to get the academic upgrading required to qualify her for a hairstyling course. Second Career helped fund the training.

She completed the 1,500-hour hairstyling program requirement and found a job at a Brantford salon the very next day.

“I love it,” she said. “You meet new people all the time. You’re always doing something different and you’re making people feel good about themselves.”

Gerry calls Mary Rose a true role model. “She persevered through many challenges to pursue her dream. She will no longer have to face the cyclical nature of manufacturing layoffs and will be able to create her own employment if need be.”

Photo by Brian Thompson, Brantford Expositor