Greenwood Hall closes suddenly, leaving 50 without work
Greenwood Hall, a call center that was supposed to bring over 300 jobs and move its headquarters to Myrtle Beach, has closed its doors just weeks after opening, and around 50 employees in Myrtle Beach are out of work.
Greenwood Hall CEO Bill Bradfield was at the Myrtle Beach location Friday morning, and said that a deal to restructure the company fell through when several clients pulled out.
“The company was in much worse shape than I thought it was when I first started,” said Bradfield. “I thought we had a deal to fix it, which we did not. I was a little upset because my fellow officers and the rest of the board resigned, so I’m holding the bag.”
Bradfield was hired in August after the founder and CEO John Hall resigned.
“I was with the company in a sales capacity,” said Bradfield. “When the company was stumbling, the ex-CEO, the founder, John Hall, resigned. In mid-August the board asked me to step in because they’d known I’d run companies before. It’s been very difficult to get a stable plan together, to get people who trusted investing in the business.”
Bradfield said he didn’t know if employees were going to get paid, and that he personally was eight paychecks behind.
“I haven’t been paid, not a whole lot of people have been paid,” he said. “Three weeks of employment. Disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful.”
Myrtle Beach Economic Development Corporation President Josh Kay said he found out last night the company was closing its Myrtle Beach operation, but said he had no information surrounding the circumstances.
“This was a complete shock,” Kay said. “Honestly, we’re more concerned about the 50 plus employees who lost their jobs.”
The company would have received $75,000 over three years provided they hired 317 employees and made a capital investment of $1.4 million.
“The EDC provided no upfront incentives so if they close their doors they will receive no incentives,” said Kay, adding that the EDC would work with S.C. Jobs and other organization to help people who were working at Greenwood Hall.
Horry County council Chairman Mark Lazarus said the company’s investors had pulled its funding and the entire company would be closing.
“For some reason the investors pulled the funding form them yesterday at a board meeting,” he said. “From our understanding, the entire company is shutting down, which makes no sense if you have a substantial contract in place.”
Lazarus said he was concerned about the employees.
“Some of these people quit other jobs,” he said. “I’m worried about their ability to collect unemployment. It’s very disheartening.”
The company provided contact management solutions for education institutions, including enrollment management solutions, new student recruitment, re-engagement of students who have dropped out of an institution and student support solutions, according to a press release issued in October when the company was planning its relocation to Myrtle Beach.
The company had planned to move its headquarters from California and planned to hire 317 jobs at $15 an hour plus benefits in Myrtle Beach, according to the release.
The company’s clients included HGTC, The University of Alabama and Troy University, according to the release.
According to a statement, “HGTC is disappointed to have lost a strategic service provider after many years of providing service to our college. We are working with state procurement to identify another service provider that can replace this vendor as soon as possible. As always, we remain dedicated to providing world-class services to our students and to the greater community.”
The company in August hired Bradfield as it’s new CEO according to Globe Newswire, following the resignation of former CEO John Hall.
The change followed a reports of payroll issues, according to KBTX-TV in Bryan, Texas, where the company has a call center.
The station reported that an estimated 60 part-time employees lost their jobs after staffing agency Staffing Texas allegedly terminated its contract with Greenwood Hall.
Hall resigned in July, and KBTX-TV reported the company’s board had told Hall of its belief that he had committed “gross negligence in the performance of his duties.”