A Beautiful Transformation

Arconic Cleveland Operations, home to one of the world’s largest hydraulic forging presses, is also home to employees with hearts larger than the aerospace forgings they produce. When its United Auto Workers Local 1050 Women’s Committee latches on to a cause, the members personally commit for the long haul and bring others with them.

The Women’s Committee organized and managed an extensive volunteer effort—from January through August 2017—that put a shine to the hair salon in City Mission’s Laura’s Home, which is a safe place for abused or homeless women.

The salon provides a much-needed service to the residents, which improves their confidence while seeking employment, meeting with rental property landlords, preparing their children for school, and enjoying a time of relative calm in an otherwise time of crisis.

With funding support from many sources, including Arconic Cleveland Operations and professional hair salons, the project took on the feel of a new business launch. In recognition of the outstanding makeover, Arconic Foundation awarded City Mission a $10,000 grant to honor the work of the volunteers.

“The transformation is truly remarkable.”

At the start, it was clear the salon’s better days were behind it. The salon chairs had torn upholstery. Loose, broken tiles, bare patches and just good ol’ dirt made up the floor. The fixtures—sinks, manicure stations and storage bins—couldn’t hold water and supplies.

The eight-month journey began with a plan and a vision of a bright, colorful room, where everyone would feel comfortable and relaxed. Along the way, excitement grew as news spread about the renovation. A local television news segment encouraged professional hair salons to pitch in.

The Women’s Committee members recruited area stylists, who embraced the project and committed to staffing the salon a set number of hours per week for Laura’s Home residents to schedule appointments for themselves and children. The Women’s Committee canvassed local businesses to stock the beauty supply closet. Fourteen local businesses, including seven salons, donated fixtures and beauty supplies. The volunteer crew brought the floor back to life, painted the walls and purchased beauty items.

At the grand opening, Laura’s Home residents walked into a brightly lit, welcoming gathering place. Just like any well-appointed salon. The Women’s Committee and its supporters have created a sustainable project that will make a lasting contribution in so many ways, over many years.