CIEE cuts 600+ jobs due to pandemic
The Council on International Educational Exchange, a non-profit organisation that operates study abroad and exchange programs, is set to cut more than 600 jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CIEE has facilitated people-to-people international exchange for nearly 75 years. However, it announced that it is pausing its activities because of the “massive” negative financial impact of the virus.
“We are heartbroken for the negative impact this necessary action will have”
Now, according to a report by Maine Business News, the organisation is cutting 355 jobs in the US and 300 internationally. CIEE will end 248 jobs in Portland, the site of its world headquarters.
“Like so many organisations across America and the world, CIEE has been forced to take immediate and significant action to protect our future existence, and sadly, our most precious asset, our people, will be most impacted,” CIEE said in a statement.
The statement said that CIEE is announcing a significant reduction in force for both our domestic and international employees.
“It will impact families and communities around the globe…we are heartbroken for the negative impact this necessary action will have on so many of our local and global employees in the days and weeks to come.”
CIEE currently operates 63 sites in 42 countries and typically each year sends 15,000 Americans abroad to study, go on internships, and teach. It welcomes more than 30,000 international exchange visitors to the United States.
The organisation makes the majority of its revenue through its programs. After the outbreak, CIEE’s programs around the world were suspended, and it had to help thousands of students return to the US.
“With prospects for travel and exchange highly uncertain at this time, the negative financial impact on CIEE is massive,” the statement read.
“We recognise that we must respond swiftly and decisively if we are to preserve the ability of CIEE to emerge from this unprecedented event and return to our important mission in the decades ahead.”
Stimulus legislation is currently pending in US Congress, and CIEE said that these provisions will allow the organisation to regain financial stability and to begin rehiring and increasing staffing levels “as soon as possible”.
“CIEE has weathered global crises before, and each time we have come through the storm intact and ready to again build bridges between cultures and to restore relationships that may have become weathered or damaged by the crisis,” the statement continued.
A major player in the study abroad sector, CIEE has provided millions of dollars in scholarship programs such as Generation Study Abroad.