National Labor College Closing

Thursday, November 14, 2013

National Labor College Closing(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

The National Labor College is closing. “The College has been facing significant financial difficulties and the Board reluctantly decided to accept the inevitability of our closure,” said NLC President Paula Peinovich in a November 13 letter. “We do not have a specific date for closure yet but will provide information as soon as we can detailing how the shutdown will proceed. This process will likely take many months.” The College has been struggling with financial difficulties in recent years -- including some $30 million in debt largely incurred during a multimillion-dollar campuswide renovation and expansion effort begun in 2003 -- and last year announced plans to sell the school’s Silver Spring campus and continue as a primarily online educational institution (Labor College to Sell Campus, Continue Online 4/10/2012 UC). “It’s a huge loss, there’s no question about it,” Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff to AFL-CIO president Rich  Trumka, told Inside Higher Ed. “If it were at all possible we would maintain it.” The AFL-CIO provided about 40 percent of the operating budget for the college, which began as a labor studies center founded by AFL-CIO President George Meany in 1969, expanding programs and facilities over the ensuing years to become the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders and staff. “We are developing a concrete timeline with multiple options for current students to complete their degrees in an affordable and accessible way,” Peinovich said in her letter. "It's a sad day for labor," said Cet Parks, Executive Director of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. "The NLC has contractual severance obligations for current employees that they need to make good on." 
photo:  IAM graduates in 2008 


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