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Career Education Corp - the company that in charge of operating 16 Le Cordon Bleu campuses in the U.S. have announced that they will be closing down their cooking school businesses.
Le Cordon Bleu currently has around 9,000 students enrolled in programs but the company behind the schools expansion in the States has been loosing money for years.
They’re citing new Government relations as one of the major factors for the shock announcement. In a statement the CEO of Culinary Education, Todd Nelson, said: “New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs.”
The company has been hit with increased scrutiny over any type of student lending and in 2013 they lost a class action law suit for $40 million after thousands of students claimed they were misled about the potential employment opportunities and salary benefits they could expect to receive once graduated.
Le Cordon Bleu in the U.S will stop enrolling students as of January and expect to remain open until 2017.
Even with reported substantial losses the news comes as a shock in the industry, the company had expected to find a buyer for the schools and one apparent deal fell through. Le Cordon Bleu is easily the most recognised culinary school around the world and has trained some of the best chefs of today. A closure of 16 schools in the U.S. and the subsequent losses associated with Career Education Corp are only going to weaken the culinary education offering across the country. All at a time when restaurant owners around the world are reporting a shortage of well trained young chefs.
Career Education Corp say they are going to focus their energies towards online education but no matter how great the courses will be, there’s no way a computer can taste a dish and tell students if it needs a pinch more salt.