Orbit Hair Styling owner Richard Stone is hoping to catch at least two stylists’ attention by offering a $3,000 sign-on bonus at his Lewiston salon. He says it’s an especially tight market for attracting new employees. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file photo Buy this Photo

The owner of Orbit Hair Styling in Lewiston is offering a $300 interview bonus and $3,000 hiring bonus in the quest for two new hairdressers, and yes, Richard Stone says, they are that hard to come by.

“We’ve always been very busy,” he said, with a dedicated customer base and more work than his 10 current stylists can fit in.

But since Mr. Bernard’s School of Hair Fashion abruptly closed in 2015, the area’s seen fewer new cosmetology grads, Stone said, “and the beauty schools in Maine report that there’s a lot fewer students going to school to be cosmetologists. A lot are signing up for smaller, less expensive classes like nail tech or estheticians to start in the field and they never go back for hair stylist.”

He’s planning to start a new trainee program at the salon, taking one new person on every six months, and crossing his fingers that the $3,000 bonus, to be paid out over time, catches enough interested eyes.

“I’m hoping it makes lots of people do a double-take,” Stone said.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or kskelton@sunjournal.com.

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