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Former Concordia wrestler to open barber academy in Fargo

Small towns are struggling to keep grocery stores, cafes, gas stations and even barber shops open. A new barber academy in town is looking to change that and it's offering students an special incentive to enroll.

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FARGO — Delson Saintal never thought a four-year degree from Concordia College would result in a barbershop career or the opening of a new barber academy. But the college wrestler says cutting hair is his calling.

"I got into barbering because I coach wrestling at Fargo North and wanted more flexibility with my schedule," Saintal explained.

Saintal, along with partners Brendan and Leane LaFrance, are about to open Dakota Barber Academy in south Fargo.

Planning to open Jan. 1, 2022, the school will offer students the option to waive tuition with the promise of working in the barbershop after graduation.

This will be North Dakota's fourth barber academy. All of them are located in Fargo.

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"This will alleviate some of that financial constraints along the way and help them get placement after barber school," Saintel said.

Since rural parts of the region suffer from a barbershop shortage, there is a plan to get students from across the tri-state area to come to the school.

"That way, it will be easier for someone to come from Dickinson to Fargo, to go to school, and then return home and open something up," Saintel explained.

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