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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

WyoTech slowing closing up shop as it winds up student studies

03/04/2013

SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL.  MARCH 1, 2013.  WyoTech is closing its West Sacramento campus of more than 900 students and 75 staff by mid-October, officials confirmed Friday.

The automotive training college’s staff and students learned Thursday that the school will close. Students will be able to complete their studies at the campus, but no new students will be enrolled.

“We are teaching out the campus. That means we are gradually closing it,” saidKent Jenkins Jr., spokesman for Corinthian Colleges Inc., the publicly traded company that owns WyoTech. “Every one of those students will be able to finish their studies there on site.”

As the Business Journal reported in January, Corinthian has been quietly marketing the West Sacramento WyoTech for sale.

In an interview Friday, Jenkins said campus did not receive any acceptable offers. So WyoTech West Sacramento, which is not profitable, will be closed.

Corinthian (NASDAQ: COCO) has not yet decided what happens to the building. “We’ll be looking at that going forward,” Jenkins said.

WyoTech West Sacramento occupies about 250,000 square feet of space leased from Harsch Investment Properties. The college has a significant term left on its long-term lease, Harsch vice president John Shorey told the Business Journal in January.

WyoTech is providing a severance package to its staff. Admissions employees will be the first to be out of work.

Corinthian disclosed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing in June that it was putting its West Sacramento and Daytona Beach, Fla., WyoTech campuses up for sale. Those are two of six WyoTech campuses nationally.

Now Corinthian has decided to keep open its Florida WyoTech, Jenkins said. It previously wasn’t profitable, but now it is.

Besides not being profitable, the West Sacramento campus has something else going against it — the school is one of three WyoTech campuses in California. These are destination schools, meaning students tend to move to an area to attend WyoTech. In the West, students could just as well move to attend the campuses in Fremont or Long Beach or to Wyoming. The two in the East are in Florida and Pennsylvania.

The closure at WyoTech West Sacramento could be good news for Universal Technical Institute Inc., a WyoTech competitor that operates a large campus in Sacramento’s Natomas area.

UTI (NYSE: UTI) doesn’t disclose how many students are enrolled at its North Natomas campus, only that the campus has the capacity to train 2,000 students at any one time and employs 140 people.Enrollment at the Sacramento campus has remained steady, UTI told the Business Journal in January.

In addition to the effect on WyoTech employees, the WyoTech closure could be a big hit to area restaurants, stores and apartments that rely on the patronage of students, employees and visiting parents.