116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / News / Education / Higher Ed
Pearson lays off 50 in Iowa City, closes office
‘We have been transparent with all impacted employees’
IOWA CITY — Pearson is laying off 50 employees at its Iowa City facility on North Dodge — an office it recently closed “and opened opportunities for employees to work in one of our Cedar Rapids facilities,” a spokesman for the company said.
The Iowa City layoffs were part of changes Pearson is making “to invest in priorities that will better serve our customers and drive growth in a rapidly changing market,” Dan Nelson, vice president of Pearson’s global media relations, told The Gazette on Wednesday.
“We understand that these changes are difficult for those whose jobs are affected,” Nelson said in an email. “We have been transparent with all impacted employees, offering ample notification, a generous severance package, and outplacement services.”
Pearson began notifying affected employees “at all levels of the organization” of the coming changes earlier this fall, he said. The Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed Dec. 16 with Iowa Workforce Development reported the 50 layoffs were out of the now-shuttered Pearson facility at 2510 N. Dodge St.
Nelson said Pearson closed that office “in another effort to prioritize and deliver the hybrid work experience that our employees prefer.”
“We don’t expect any impact on operations,” he said of the layoffs. “Our K12 school assessments business is critical, and we will continue to hold a large presence in Iowa and the Iowa City area with hundreds of colleagues committed to serving students, educators, and customers.”
Pearson is a British educational publishing and testing company with five business divisions, serving customers in 200 countries.
Its largest division is in “assessment and qualifications,” at least as far as revenue and consumer reach goes. Pearson’s other divisions include virtual learning, English Language Learning, workforce skills and higher education.
Its most recent annual report from 2021 shows Pearson’s total average number of employees has dropped from 24,322 in 2018 to 20,744. A majority of its employees are in the United States, with 11,670 as of Dec. 31, 2021, compared with more than 3,000 in the United Kingdom and nearly 6,000 in other parts of the world.
Its average total turnover rate for that year was 33 percent, up from 26 percent in 2020, and included 23 percent voluntary turnover and 10 percent involuntary turnover. The U.S. turnover rate was 16 percent, compared with 6 percent in the United Kingdom.
Pearson officials didn’t share details about when, specifically, they closed the North Dodge facility and what their plans are for the space.
Johnson County assessor records show its net value is $18.3 million and deed holder is NCS Pearson Inc.
Vanessa Miller covers higher education for The Gazette.
Comments: (319) 339-3158; firstname.lastname@example.org