Former Employee: Worked at Porter & Chester full-time (More than 5 years)
The person in charge, Jim Bologa is a selfish, greedy man who cares only about himself. The company does not match 401k, they do not give person days, they have not given raises in over 7 years. There are no holiday parties during the month of December. Its strictly business as usual. There is a large turnover and frequent layoffs. No training is ever provided. Get ready for a crash course.
There are a lot of employees who work hard everyday and do the right thing.
Company doesn't care about their employees. CEO Jim Bologa only cares about getting his executive bonus. Terrible company to work for. Senior level management has no idea what is going on at the campus level. Awful communication throughout. No accountability. Terrible benefits.
Advice to Management: Get rid of the entire senior management team, starting with the CEO. They have driven this organization to the ground.
I have been working at Porter & Chester Institute full-time.
Pros: My job is constantly a struggle between helping the students who are getting screwed by the school and helping the employer that I absolutely loathe. The students are great, and the opportunity for them is great, which makes the job somewhat worthwhile.
Cons: Higher management has no clue what they're doing, and think that being fiscally prudent means cutting any incentive for staff to care at all about their job.These are the same guys that have been pushing for-profit education at those fantastic schools like Salter, ITT Tech, and Corinthian Colleges, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise they invest as little as possible into staff and education.
Check out: Who Owns The Awful Corinthian Colleges?
Porter & Chester is a sinking ship; stay away. I'm just buying time until I'm finished with school to get a job somewhere that cares about its employees. Seriously, don't walk-- run. No 401k match, no education reimbursement, you can take classes at PCI for free, but they design your schedule so that there is no way you could ever actually attend. You will never see a raise, and the only time reviews come out is before they do a layoff (like the one they did the week before Christmas, a few years back -- to give you a taste of their care about their employees).
Basic accounting/finance principals don't apply to management here -- if enrollment is down 15%, they lay off 20% of staff to cover the losses, and frequently realize later on that they cut too many people and beg former staff to come back part-time so they won't have to dole out benefits. Not only this, in departments with only 2 people, they'll cut that in half, not recognizing that in the same process that means the person left has to pick up 70% more work, without even a pat on the back.
The only people management cares about is admissions, and they'll throw money at them if they threaten to leave, because they are the ones that bring in profits. If you do anything else, you may as well be viewed as a parasite by management that's just draining profits. I wouldn't recommend my worst enemy to work here.
Advice to Management: Literally no one wants to stay employed at the school, and most of us haven't left because we don't want to screw over our colleagues. Bring back the 401k match and offer even a cost of living. Coming to PCI has been the worst career move of my life.
I have worked with some of the hardest working staff over the past 8 years. They are driven by the passion to educate Medical Assistants. I had the pleasure to run the Medical Assisting department at the Chicopee campus and to work with great people. I am saddened to see the direction the company is heading.
Couldn't have been worse. Poor communication. Did not follow GAAP, instead hid expenses from other campuses to have more advertising dollars. Directors did stuff like breaking into an office and tried to get in someone's laptop.
What is the GAAP? GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) is a collection of commonly-followed accounting rules and standards for financial reporting. The acronym is pronounced "gap." GAAP specifications include definitions of concepts and principles, as well as industry-specific rules.
On a daily basis would work alone, repeat next day. Power was split between executive directors who frequently made alliances against each other. If you want a professional environment, go somewhere else.
Pros: Education Cons: Old Management
I have been working at Porter & Chester Institute full-time (More than 3 years). “Not the greatest company to work for ”
Pros: If you work with a great team it is fun. The job itself is very rewarding. Helping students with a new career and changing their lives. Great school to go to for any student who is not meant for traditional schools and universities.
Cons: You will never get a raise unless you threaten to leave. They no longer match your 401k. Benefits are not great. They keep taking things away from their employees, for example, the administrative part time staff hours were cut to about 8 hours a week.
Advice to Management: Stop taking things away from your employees. Take less and give more. People will start to leave. Bad management can take good staff and destroy it causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation. Come up with a different solution. You should treat your employees right because they are the foundation of the company that are making it work.
Worked for PCI for over a decade and I've seen terrible people held onto (protected) and fantastic people fired for the craziest reasons.
Examples: A great instructor and department supervisor for 8 years was told "Its not going to work out" (?) and was let go. An alcoholic, drug addict and major attendance issue instructor was held onto for many years. An instructor is made education director, which they didn't want, has no training for the position, little support or guidance is fired two days before Christmas. Beyond cruel.
I loved my coworkers but upper management is not interested in employee retention unless you "play their game". They give you no warnings or reasons. You can loose your job in a heart beat and have no clue why.
Horrible thing to go to work everyday and not know if you'll have a job the next day.
Pros: coworkers were great.
Cons: 4 week vacation can only be taken one week at a time, every 12 weeks. Below industry average pay. terrible benefits.
Pros: I've made several good friendships with my working peers during my employment here. I had the opportunity to present my professional skills and experiences to hundreds of HVAC technician hopefuls and it is very gratifying to see the student have the light go on when a certain task is completed and the principles of it are understood. As an instructor, once the ability to teach has been proven, there is freedom from the supervisor to allow you to be creative with your teaching style. We used to boast a high 80% percent placement with around 3/4 of them sustaining employment.
Cons: I am not a disgruntled former employee. I'm stating the facts as I saw and experienced them. Back when I started in 5-05 this was a great place to work. Everyone in the department looked out for each other and worked together. It was a family type of environment. The school has been bought and sold so many time over the past 12 years, the family feel has long ago been abolished by the owners. With the schools ownership changing hands so much it has become a cash machine. No raises, only part-time teaching positions, hiring at the lowest possible salaries, benefits are losing their appeal, etc. The curriculum has changed as well. They have a Dr. of education. This a single person whose job is to create the curriculum. This individual has limited knowledge of the trade. Not a good thing for the program. It use to be a very well designed and informative program, but to be able to increase profits for the owners and qualify for higher financial aid for the students, the program was extended to meet the government hourly course guidelines.
The result is a poor educational program that is filled with fluff and unnecessary information which is very difficult to teach effectively. Students leaving the school and entering the field have worse skills than they did back in the good ole days. I have in the past 3 years talked with employers of a lot of graduates and most say they had to fire the former student because they don't have what it takes to sustain employment due to lack of knowledge, ability and understanding the job requirements. Textbooks in my opinion, are the back bone of the graduate. The ability to quickly access information at ones fingertips is crucial for a technician who is new to the field. Thumbing through a book that your familiar with is more helpful because you know where the information is in the book and while turning pages you might see something else that will be helpful. The whole program is on a server including the quizzes which make correcting answers difficult on essay questions and math calculations can't be seen to be able to identify where the mistake was made.I could go on and on, but I won't.
Advice to Management: Read my review on the cons and do your best to recreate the good ole days. Part-time employees are not as committed to your mission as full-time employees are. They are as committed to you as you are to them. Its a business and I get it, but P&C used to be a business with a conscious. All your good program supervisors quit including myself and now you can't find good quality people to fill those positions. Karma sucks doesn't it?
I worked at Porter & Chester Institute full-time (More than 5 years).
Pros: Working with students to help them achieve their dreams. Management is so disconnected that they never bother to check in on you to make sure you are actually doing your job.
Cons: Since money is their bottom line they do not invest back into the company. Continously cutting back on employee benefits and wages. Not keeping up with computers and lab equipment. Senior management that is out of touch. Working here is like living in the wild west, people are constantly quitting or being let go for no apparent reason.
Advice to Management: Follow through on promises. Make employees and students(your customers) a priority.
I have been working at Porter & Chester Institute full-time (More than 3 years)
Pros: Students.....helping students make positive changes that will impact their futures is rewarding.
Cons: Really poor management (not Leadership....management). Executive Management Team not visionary....it is really disappointing that at that level you have a basic accounting team that is more focused on bean counting than motivating their workforce. This poor approach over time has cost them their talented employees. Terrible culture....and culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Advice to Management: Please ask Jim Bologa, CEO of Porter & Chester Institute, to do PCI a favor and move on to politics where he really wants to be anyway.
I worked at Porter & Chester Institute (More than 8 years)
Pros: If you care about helping students succeed and can ignore management it is a great place to be.
Cons: Everything else:
Advice to Management: Take care of your employees or you will soon be without them. Your instructors can make much more money in their respective trades.
Employer is not very family oriented. Sub par training and extremely HIGH employee turnover rate in all departments. Many students complain about the constant turnover of staff.
Poor leadership from the top down that demonstrates daily that they do not value their employees. The CEO's highest priority is cutting cost to inflate the bottom line for the investors but is shortsighted as to the negative impact it has on the employees and in turn the students.
Pros: Some really good coworkers
Cons: Low pay, lack of support, poor culture.
They knew I had a day job and I was hired to be a part time dental assistant instructor. They knew upon hiring me that the hours might not jive, but we were willing to give it a try. When conflicts with hours started to arise, I tried explaining that I was torn because I wanted to stay teaching, but it was interfereing with my day job. One of the top administrators asked another employee if I was bipolar. Yeah, that happened. Isn't that nice? So for that reason alone I wouldn't recommend this school and second because I have seen the students come out of these programs and after spending all that money they don't know squat. You are making a huge mistake if you invest in this school. Trust me.
When I was employed by Porter & Chester, one of the other emloyees made a statement about me being bi polar (which for the record I am not..lol) but this is what I am talking about with this unprofessional school. I wouldn't have anything to do with them and I would stay far far away from them. I also would try and steer anyone else from going there. In short...they suck!
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There is a disconnect between the “job placement specialists” and the instructors. It’s interesting to note that the minimum qualifications to be a Placement Specialist at Porter & Chester is a GED with two years experience.