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CCAC to offer early retirement incentives

| Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:39 p.m.

The Community College of Allegheny County will offer early retirement incentives this year and will close child care centers at its four campuses as of Jan. 1, 2015, to pare costs.

CCAC trustees, faced with a $3 million deficit to close before June 30 and the prospect of another decline in enrollment next year, unanimously approved the two cost-cutting measures Thursday evening.

Details of the early retirement program were not immediately available. CCAC Board Chair Amy Kuntz said “a couple hundred employees” will be eligible for the early retirement program, which officials hope will save “a couple million dollars” in costs.

According to U.S. Department of Education reports from 2012, the most recent year available, CCAC employed approximately 850 full-time instructors, administrators, clerical and support workers at its four campuses as well as about 1,200 part-time instructors and support staff.

State Sen. Jay Costa, chairman of CCAC's Finance, Facilities and Property Committee, said a combination of declining enrollment, slack state subsidies and rising costs have forced officials to consider all possible savings.

College officials were caught off-guard last fall after enrollment declined by 8 percent, or about four times more than the decline they had anticipated in their budget.

Kuntz said projections call for a smaller decline in enrollment this fall, but added that budget officers have no final figure.

Trustees had considered closing the child care centers at CCAC's Allegheny, Boyce, South and North campuses in November, but agreed to table the motion to seek bids from private contractors to operate them. The school received no bids, Costa said.

The centers, which officials said serve only a small percentage of students and staff and were not at capacity, lost more than $400,000 each year in fiscal 2011 and 2012 and lost nearly $300,000 through June of 2013.

“The annual losses are no longer sustainable and no bids were received from outside vendors,” Costa said, asking trustees to approve a motion to close the centers.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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