Clements Academy Director Billy Cooper and staff learned Thursday that after a year of preparation their current contractor was not chosen by the Department of Labor in this bidding session.
Career Systems Development (CSD) has been managing the Academy for the past five years.CSD won the two-year bid over ResCare in May 2003, and was approved for three additional one-year renewable bids thereafter.Management and Training Corporation
(MTC) will take over for CSD in June under much the same terms.MTC
is the largest operator of Job Corps facilities around the nation, with 22 centers under its jurisdiction including the Gary Academy
in San Marcos, Texas, and the Clearfield Academy
in Utah. Cooper
has no reservations that MTC
will prove worthy of the bid.
"They are a good company.MTC
has a superb reputation for interacting with and supporting the community," Cooper
"For the center, it will be a change in the way it operates.For the staff, it will be a matter of getting familiar with a new policy, a new set of expectations.But for students, it should appear seamless."Cooper
explained that while different managing companies would come in and out of administration, the service has to continue.
"That will continue uninterrupted," Cooper
stated."I will ensure that the transition goes extremely well."The Clements Academy's
large student population was a big draw for MTC
."Anytime a large center comes up for bid, it generates interest," Cooper
said.And the Earle C. Clements Academy
is the second largest center in the nation based on population, next to MTC's
San Marcos center.
But anytime a new administration takes over, it brings a certain amount of "apprehension" for the staff, says Cooper
Much of the staff has been through this before, five years ago.Cooper reassures that 95-98% of staff is typically rehired during a turnover."If you are a bus driver, the requirements are still the same.If you are recreation specialist…an academic/skilled instructor…those positions and people are still needed," Cooper
explained.But each individual amongst the Academy's staff will go through a competitive interview process for his
job under the new operating company.
This is the biggest concern still looming for the more than 500 employees at the Academy.MTC
is due to supply an organizational chart for personnel soon, so employees know which jobs they will be eligible to apply for.
"The anxiety is normal," said Cooper
, "but you have to control the things you can control.At this point we know the center will come under new hands.It will be how well we do our jobs everyday (from here) and the rest will take care of itself."
On a personal note for Cooper
, it is likely that he
will be out of job.
I would love to stay," said Cooper
, "and if an opportunity presents itself, I would stay."