No new students for local trade school

July 28, 2011 4:41:06 PM PDT
A Texas trade school can no longer enroll new students now that the Texas Workforce Commission has moved to revoke its certificates. The school is called ATI Career Centers and they have a Houston campus. The state says ATI has failed to comply with the Texas education code that requires workforce licensed schools to turn in annual graduation rates and that the school did not place enough graduates in their careers fields.

Students leaving the Houston ATI Career Training Center only said positive things about their education and the classes offered here.

Student Lonny Brown said, "It's good, you know, I mean, they are teaching everything that is supposed to be taught."

Despite the praise, the Texas Workforce Commission issued a notice of intent Thursday to revoke certificates of approval for the career schools and colleges in Texas owned by ATI. The state says ATI failed to place the required 60 percent of graduates into training-related jobs for the majority of their programs.

Students we spoke with say the problem may lie with the graduate and not the school.

"I think it has to do with their background, you know what I am saying, because a lot of people are not going to hire someone with a felony on their records," said student Jose Chavez.

The state's notice means ATI must provide a plan for students to complete their studies at ATI or through another school offering comparable training. Students would not be required to pay more than the amount already agreed to.

Zai Chin is enrolled in the heating and air conditioning program at the school and thinks he will have no trouble finding a job after graduation.

"This is my second module here and so far everything has been good," he said. "I like it here and what they do here is good."

ATI owns several schools across the state. Students here say if there are problems at other locations it should not affect the campus in Houston.

Student Kimberly Watkins said, "I think that there are many different schools across the state and you can't judge every single school by one school's, you know, doings."

We spoke with ATI officials on Thursday and they told us they cannot comment until they have contacted all of the regulatory bodies that oversee the schools. However they said the school will have a statement on Friday.

The school can appeal the workforce commission notice.

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