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Garland Vocational School Abruptly Closes Leaving Students and Staff Wondering Why

The Retail Ready Career Center closed Wednesday afternoon with no notice

Hundreds of students, most of them veterans, were left wondering what's next after their vocationsl school, the Retail Ready Career Center in Garland, abruptly closed its doors Wednesday afternoon.

"A lot of us were here to change where we're at and get something better for us, for our families," said Army veteran and student Tony Larson. "Now that's gone."

Students said they were in the middle of a six-week HVAC certification course when they were told the school was closing and they needed to leave campus.

"They have put their lives on the line for our country," said Brandon Moffatt, one of a few civilian students. "They feel disrespected."

Wednesday afternoon, staff and teachers were seen leaving with boxes in hand.

"I had no idea," admissions counselor Justin Townsend replied, when asked if he knew Wednesday would be his last day at work. "It caught all of us off guard."

Staff and students told NBC 5 that investigators were on campus last week, taking files and asking questions.

"Basically, how do you pay for the school?" said Army veteran and student Andri Hartono.

In a written statement, the school's attorney, Derek Staub, said, "The Department of Veteran Affairs is conducting an administrative review that has temporarily suspended class. We hope to resolve this soon."

NBC 5 contacted the VA in North Texas, which said it has "absolutely no relationship with the center."

The Texas Workforce Commission told NBC 5 that it licensed the school, but has no information about the closure.

Most of the students told us they paid for the six-week class using $20,000 from their G.I. Bill. The school closed half-way through the session. None of them got certificates.

"I came here looking to start a future," said Army veteran and student Ibrahim Muhammad. "But it wasn't what it turned out to be."

Texas Workforce Commission staff are available to answer questions from students at 866-256-6333 (prompt #1) or at 512-936-3100, or at career.schools@twc.state.tx.us.

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