DECATURISH.COM: Laurus Technical Institute Closure

Career College Central Summary:

  • Students attending Laurus Technical Institute were taken by surprise when the school on Monday announced it was shutting down for good.
  • President and CEO Terry Hess said the closure of the for-profit school, which has three campuses including one on Church Street in Decatur, was due to dwindling enrollment. He said the enrollment drop was “due a change in federal guidelines, instituted two years ago, which significantly impacted the trade school industry.”
  • “The guidelines included new qualification standards for students seeking support to attend trade schools which, in turn negatively affected annual enrollment at schools,” he said.
  • A review of federal court records also show the school recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by four employees. Court records show the matter was resolved in February for an undisclosed sum. The school officially closed on March 23.
  • The lawsuit accuses Hess of working to protect a supervisor accused of sexually harassing the four women who filed the suit. The allegations also came to the attention of the the National Labor Relations board after Hess instituted a “no gossip” policy for employees, according to an article published on The NLRB ruled against Laurus, according to the article.
  • Hess said the recent settlement of the lawsuit was not a factor in the school’s decision to close.
  • “The lawsuit had no effect,” he said. He said “we are not permitted to disclose any details” of the settlement.

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