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CTE Success Story: Melinda Coates fulfills business dreams thanks to hard work, determination and a Gloucester County Institute of Technology education

March 6, 2024

CTE Month Success Story: Melinda Coates, Gloucester County Institute of Technology Academy of Cosmetology Class of 2013 After managing a salon chain for over a decade, Coates stepped out on her own to open K&M Barbering Den in Turnersville. She credits GCIT with giving her the confidence and skills to succeed.Melinda Coates carefully snips and styles her customers’ hair to perfection, giving them a boost of confidence before they head out the door. Coates is thrilled when her customers are happy, and even more so now that they walk away showing off a final product that is courtesy of her own business, K&M Barbering Den in Turnersville.

“I am able to run this business as a wife and a mother of two,” said Coates. “My barbershop is in a suite, and I work alongside several other women running their own businesses.”

After managing several South Jersey Sports Clips for 12 years, Coates recently decided it was time to establish her own business. She credits her work experience, but also her education at Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) for giving her the motivation to head out on her own.

Coates, of Mount Royal, studied at GCIT’s Academy of Cosmetology, graduating in 2013. The Cosmetology program offers students the opportunity to prepare for a range of careers in the profession including hairstylist, nail technician and esthetician. Students receive hands-on experience at the GCIT on-campus salon and receive guidance from experts in the field.

At the end of senior year, Coates and her fellow classmates earned their high school diplomas, achieved required training hours and prepared for the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling.
Coates furthered her education at the Rowan College of South Jersey after gaining many of the tools needed to succeed at GCIT.

“Hard work, determination, and all I learned at GCIT brought me to a place where I am happy and successful,” added Coates.

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