Jan 22, 2011 12:06 AM by Matt Stafford
Viewers told News First 5 that when workers at the Westwood College office in Colorado Springs showed up to work Friday morning they found out they were losing their jobs. The offices on Oracle Boulevard opened in 2004, and have been used primarily for online admissions work. They didn't have any classes at the facility.
Westwood College officials confirm about 100 people were told the office was closing and that they were not to return to work. The employees will remain on the payroll for two months, and even though no work will be taking place in the Colorado Springs office in the meantime, the office will officially close March 23rd. They say they are reorganizing their workforce, and some of the employees were offered jobs in their Denver offices.
Kristina Yarrington of Westwood College released a statement to News First 5 saying:
"As part of a renewed focus on enrolling graduates with strong job opportunities and offering courses that meet the demands of today's economy, we are making some proactive changes to our degree programs. This includes reducing the tuition for many programs, temporarily halting enrollment in some programs and offering our students more flexible scheduling with the ability to take classes both online and on-campus. As part of the refocus, we will be closing our Colorado Springs admissions center effective March 23 with some employees moving to one of our Denver locations."
Westwood officials wouldn't confirm exactly how many people were offered jobs in Denver or how many are losing their jobs in the Springs.
Mike Kazmierski, president and C.E.O. with the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, says this is the first big loss of what his office calls "primary jobs" of 2011. He says we generally lose about 1,900 of those jobs per year in the Springs, but we gain jobs as well.
"We know they're coming (lob losses), it happens throughout the year, but it makes us redouble our efforts to make sure what we're doing to keep jobs here is working," Kazmierski explains.
Kazmierski says the admission representative jobs -- that largely made up the Colorado Springs Westwood College office -- are tough to see leave, but on a positive note he adds that Everest University Online is bringing 600 jobs to Colorado Springs. About 200 of those jobs are already filled and operational.
Regional V.P. and General Manager for Everest University Online Mike Mossman says they're filling roughly 400 more jobs over the next 15 months. He adds that some of those jobs will be admission representative positions, similar to the ones that Colorado Springs lost with the closing of the Westwood College office. He says people with experience will have a competitive advantage. You can browse those jobs and apply online. Click here to visit Everest University Online's website.