Strict Occupational Licensing Requirements Hurt Ohio’s Minority Communities

Multiple bills before the Ohio legislature could cut down on the state’s occupational “over-licensing” problem that some experts argue adversely affects women and minorities.

Battleground State News previously reported on Senate Bill 255, which would unshackle workers from the state’s burdensome licensing requirements. A second bill, House Bill 189, focuses specifically on requirements applied to Ohio’s cosmetologists, who “must complete 250 hours more training than their peers in Pennsylvania and 500 more hours than hairdressers in New York,” according to The Buckeye Institute’s Greg Lawson.

Lawson has testified before various House and Senate committees as an expert on the issue, most recently appearing before the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Tuesday.

“The onerous training required for Ohio’s cosmetologists is even more ridiculous when compared to the 150 hours of training required to be a state certified Emergency Medical Technician,” Lawson said in his testimony, according to a press release.

As he’s noted in past testimonies, Lawson discussed how Ohio has some of the strictest occupational licensing requirements in the nation.

“Nearly every Ohio license that requires training can be earned in less time in another state,” he pointed out, saying the “need for licensing reform doesn’t get much clearer.”

A report from The Buckeye Institute, titled “Forbidden to Succeed: How Licensure Laws Hold Ohioans Back,” reveals that the state’s licensing requirements are “well above average.” For instance, the report found that 15 of Ohio’s 31 moderate-income jobs that require licensure demand “hundreds or thousands of hours of training.”

Lawson further pointed out that the excessive requirements hurt Ohio’s already struggling minority communities.

“Given the relatively high number of African Americans and women in the salon industry, reforming Ohio’s cosmetology laws offers a direct response to those alarming statistics,” he said Tuesday.

House Bill 189 was introduced in April 2017, but has undergone numerous revisions since then and has been repeatedly referred to committee.

“Every hour of unnecessary, unpaid training needed to satisfy bureaucratic requirements is an hour not spent earning tips, impressing a boss, serving a customer, or climbing a corporate ladder,” Lawson argued. “Those are hours of productivity, hours of opportunity that young, low-income workers sorely need, but that the state continues to take away.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to
Photo “Greg Lawson” by Buckeye Institue. 







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One Thought to “Strict Occupational Licensing Requirements Hurt Ohio’s Minority Communities”

  1. What pray tell me, does race have to do with ANYBODY getting a state license to work here? You can’t go for ONE DAY without the “race card” being played in our country anymore. Just because there are high number of an individual race in a given industry that requires licensing, doesn’t indicate ONE BIT of racism being involved in it. COME ON here. Take the article for it’s original intent of the over strenuous regulations and go with it. There doesn’t need to be race brought up in any of this. We get enough “Race Baiting” from the MSM. That is Bull Crap.