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Corporate Education Center sold to TechSkills

Land and building remain with BU

TechSkills will lease space from BU at the BUCEC location in Tyngsboro.

Boston University recently sold its Corporate Education Center (BUCEC) to TechSkills, a career training company based in Austin, Tex., that specializes in information technology, health services, and business skills.

BUCEC, which offers business, management, and project management training, as well as information technology training and certificate programs, will continue to be based in Tyngsboro, Mass., and will operate autonomously under the BUCEC name. TechSkills, one of the country’s largest corporate-owned education companies, with 30 learning centers in 17 states, also acquired BUCEC’s courseware. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TechSkills will lease space from BU at the Tyngsboro location, and BUCEC will serve its customers in the same manner as before the August 21 sale. The center’s executive team, which was retained in the transaction, expects the new operation to expand into the professional education market.

“Combining these two organizations will enable BUCEC to provide even higher levels of service and an expanded range of offerings to customers,” says John Bonnano, Corporate Education Center president. TechSkills campuses nationwide are now available to host BUCEC programs.

According to Joseph Mercurio, BU’s executive vice president, a majority of the 38 employees of the center offered positions with the new organization have accepted, 8 employees were retained by BU to operate the facilities, and 17 positions were eliminated. “The 17 employees who were laid off were provided with severance benefits by the University and outplacement services by an outside firm,” says Mercurio, “and they will be given preference for any internal positions for which they are qualified.”

Kevin Paulsen, TechSkills CEO and president, says that BUCEC is a well recognized and “highly respected provider of professional development and management training, with an outstanding team. It is an exceptional complement to the wide range of adult career education” that TechSkills currently provides.

Mercurio says that the sale is an opportunity for BU to “get back to its roots” by transferring a set of training products it developed to an organization that specializes in corporate training. “We can thereby redeploy our resources back into the core mission of the University: teaching and research.” The training programs sold to TechSkills “have value,” he says, “but don’t necessarily blend directly with the type of academic activity that ordinarily takes place at Boston University.”