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News : 200-person Call Center in Colorado Springs to Close
Dec 18, 2014 -- Corinthian Colleges Inc. said it will close its 200-employee call center in Colorado Springs on Feb. 28 - the result of an agreement it reached last month to sell most of its campuses to a nonprofit group.
Santa Ana, Calif.-based Corinthian said the center, run by its Everest University arm, would continue to operate until the closing. The center provides support to students at Corinthian's colleges across the United States, including assistance with financial aid and career services. The center also provides online faculty administration and support.
Kent Jenkins, a Corinthian spokesman in Washington, D.C., said the company provided more than 60 days notice of the closing, but "does not have an active severance pay plan at this time." In 2012, when the center last said it was hiring, new full-time workers started with a minimum annual salary of $30,000, plus benefits.
Corinthian announced Nov. 20 that it had agreed to sell 56 Everest and WyoTech campuses and online programs to Zenith Education Group, an affiliate of Educational Credit Management Corp. The sale is expected to be completed early next year.
Everest campuses in Aurora, Colorado Springs and Thornton all are part of the sale. Corinthian said classes and operations at the three locations "remain unchanged."
According to a news release from Corinthian, Zenith plans to consolidate many of the functions of the Colorado Springs Service Center into existing centers in Thornton and Tampa, Fla. The release said service and support "for students and faculty will not be affected by these changes."
Zenith plans to hire up to 40 people at the Thornton center early next year, and workers at the Springs center can apply for those jobs, the release said.
Corinthian opened the Colorado Springs center in 2010 in a former Intel Corp. manufacturing complex on Garden of the Gods Road, with plans to employ up to 600 within four years. But the company never reached that goal, and in February, it laid off 105 of the center's 433 workers in response to slowing enrollment in online classes.
The announcement comes as at least two other local call centers are hiring. Firstsource Solutions Ltd. said Dec. 10 that it plans to hire 300 more employees by the end of January to handle calls for a health care client. Insurance giant Progressive Corp. announced in September it planned to fill 141 sales, customer service and information technology jobs at its Colorado Springs call center and information technology operation by year's end. Most of the positions have been filled, a Progressive spokesman said by email Wednesday, but a few openings remain.
Corinthian has been under heightened scrutiny by federal and state regulators for the past year amid allegations that the company falsified student job placement rates and misled prospective students by persuading them to take on too much debt. The U.S. Department of Education temporarily suspended the company's access to federal student aid in June, which brought Corinthian to the brink of collapse.
The company agreed to sell off most of its schools in July, in exchange for temporary cash transfers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Corinthian Colleges Inc.:
Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America and is currently under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in the United States.
About Zenith Education Group:
Zenith Education Group is a nonprofit provider of career school training.
Published: Monday, December 22, 2014