Retired military graduate placed #2 in the U.S. for Barbering competition

Longoria Barbering labLongoria cap gown

SAVANNAH, GA – Barbering graduate Keith Longoria walked across the stage at Savannah Technical College’s commencement ceremony wearing the silver and gold medals he earned with SkillsUSA competitions. He won silver in the national SkillsUSA competition a few weeks ago. He earned gold at the Georgia SkillsUSA Post-Secondary competition this spring.

Longoria was one of more than 240 graduates, who received degrees, diplomas and GEDs at the STC’s 2022 commencement ceremony. The College has awarded 450 degrees and diplomas for students that completed coursework from summer 2021 through spring 2022. Also, 108 GED diplomas have been earned during FY2022.

“Keith exceled with practical and leadership opportunities in our Barbering lab,” said STC Barbering Instructor Joycelin Primus. “He recognizes the importance of a strong work ethic, persistence, and intellectual integrity. He quickly became the most valuable member of our Skills USA student team and a role model for his newer classmates.”

Before coming to Savannah Tech to pursue barbering training, Longoria served 22 years in the U.S. Army as a systems administrator, chief warrant officer 3. He was deployed for two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. After retiring from the military, he worked as an Army contractor as a systems administrator for a year. Then he was hired as a GS12 with the Network Enterprise Center at Fort Stewart.

During his military service, Longoria cut his own and others’ hair. His hobby for barbering picked up after he retired. “I decided to take a risk and follow my passion for barbering with training at Savannah Tech,” said Longoria. “It is something I really enjoyed doing.”

Through SkillsUSA preparation and competition, he enjoyed learning new skills for haircuts. He said the competition also offered tremendous networking opportunities with service and product leaders in the barbering industry.

He completes his Barbering diploma in July and has multiple job opportunities to consider. He was also one of four finalists for STC’s GOAL Student of the Year competition for 2022. He is a member of National Technical Honor Society (purple stole/cords) and wore red/white/blue cords at commencement to represent his military service.

“My wife has been my number-one supporter to follow my dream to pursue barbering training and to open my own barbering business someday,” he said. Longoria’s wife is a labor and delivery registered nurse at Ft. Stewart, who is studying to be a nurse practitioner. They live in Richmond Hill with their 13-year-old son.

Savannah Tech’s Barbering program prepares students to be on the cutting edge of men’s fashion and trends with training to test for licensure as a professional barber. The program features barbering services such as cutting, trimming, shampooing, styling hair, trimming beards and giving shaves. It is offered at the College’s Savannah and Liberty campuses. For more information visit

SkillsUSA is a national career and technical student organization/competition that annually serves more than 395,000 high school, college and post-secondary students–and their instructors–in technical, skilled and service-occupation instructional programs.

#2303 | July 15, 2022
Media Contact: Amy Shaffer, APR
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