Education Management Cuts 70 Pittsburgh Jobs

By Olson, Thomas | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Education Management Cuts 70 Pittsburgh Jobs


Olson, Thomas, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Education Management Corp. began laying off as many as 400 workers on Thursday from locations in the Strip District and in Arizona, as a result of a recent review of its operations.

At least 70 people who were let go worked for the Pittsburgh company's Online Higher Education business located in the Strip District, according to several workers. Those laid off were escorted from buildings along Penn Avenue yesterday morning.

A statement from Education Management, which owns and operates for-profit colleges, including the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, said the layoffs would affect fewer than 2 percent of its 20,000 workers, or as many as 400 people.

The online business unit employs about 1,700 people in the Strip District. The unit serves Education Management's Art Institute, Argosy University and South University schools. The company's Brown Mackie colleges do not belong to the online division.

Jobs at the online unit include enrollment specialists, financial counselors and admissions representatives.

The cost-cutting moves were "not anticipated to have any impact on students," the company said in a statement.

Education Management is the nation's second-largest operator of for-profit schools, with 106 schools in 32 states, plus Canada. Those schools had combined enrollment of about 151,200 students as of October.

Based Downtown, the company cited "the economy and a changing regulatory landscape" for its cost-cutting moves in a statement Tuesday. A spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

For-profit college companies' traditionally healthy earnings are facing profit pressures. Many in Congress and elsewhere for the past two years have criticized the companies for high loan default rates among students whom college companies steered into student loans they could not afford.

During Senate hearings in September 2010, an on-leave employee from Westmoreland County said corporate managers told workers to falsify graduates' e-mails to make it appear they found gainful employment after their schooling. …

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