Texas Workforce Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT: Ann Hatchitt DATE: February 4, 2009 PHONE: (512) 463-8556 TWC Cease and Desist Order Culminates with $751,000 Judgment Against Unlawful Career School AUSTIN — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced today that the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has obtained a default judgment against Vocational Training Center Inc., dba Vocational Educational Training Center Inc. (V-Tech) in the 68th District Court of Dallas County. The Irving-based career school failed to file an answer to a lawsuit filed by TWC and did not appear at any of the proceedings. The judgment awarded the state of Texas $114,000 in civil penalties, $620,403 in restitution to the students of the school and $16,475 for the reimbursement of attorney and investigative fees. TWC also has a permanent injunction against V-Tech barring it from operating a career school in Texas without TWC approval. V-Tech was one of five health care career schools operating in the Dallas and McAllen areas that were issued cease and desist orders by TWC, in coordination with the Board of Nursing (BON), for failure to obtain valid licenses or exemptions under the Texas Education Code and for failure to obtain approval for their nursing programs from the BON. When the schools continued to operate after the cease and desist order were issued, TWC referred the cases to OAG for enforcement. “We want to make sure these types of schools do not take advantage of students looking to join the workforce in the health care industry,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “This judgment sends a strong message that these schools should not misrepresent their training programs.” The other four unlicensed career schools are Esther Medical Tutorial & Nursing Review Center, Richardson; Career Advanced Medical Clinic and Training, Dallas; Merit Excellence Institute, Carrollton; and IF Tech, McAllen. In addition to being unlicensed career schools, all of these schools were offering nursing programs that were not approved by the BON. Students taking unapproved programs are not eligible to take the required examinations to be certified as nurses. OAG is pursuing cases against these schools. Health care professions are the fastest-growing occupations in Texas, with an estimated growth rate of more than 33 percent over the next eight years. The need for registered nurses is expected to grow by 58,000 positions, for an industry growth rate of almost 40 percent. A career school traditionally trains students for a field in a business, trade, or technical or industrial occupation, or for avocational or personal improvement. Cease and desist orders are issued to a business if TWC has reason to believe the school is not in compliance with the Texas Education Code. Cease and desist orders are upheld by the TWC Commissioners if the school is unable to provide a successful appeal. – more – Texas Workforce Commission • 512-463-8942 • http://www.texasworkforce.org • Equal Opportunity Employer Relay Texas • 1-800-735-2989 (TDD) • 1-800-735-2988 (Voice) 2-2-2-2 Cease & Desist TWC staff statewide monitors career school certification compliance, and can impose sanctions and/or an administrative penalty of up to $1,000 per day per violation for noncompliance. OAG enforces cease and desist orders and can seek to collect civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day per violation. Pursuing such cases is the function of TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division, which is responsible for enforcing all regulatory statutes within the jurisdiction of the agency, encompassing career schools, child labor, Unemployment Insurance and workforce board sanctions. Prospective career school students can access a list of schools with current certificates of approval on the TWC Directory of Licensed Institutions on the Career Schools and Colleges Web site page at http://propschools.texasworkforce.org. For more information, prospective students can call the TWC Career Schools Division at (512) 936-3100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. ###ash The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.