Prestige Driving School, the top-ranked driving school in the nation, will close in March, after a four-year run, the company announced Friday.
The move comes amid a “toxic environment” that has seen scores of people who’ve been enrolled in the program, including former President Obama, lose their jobs, according to the company.
“It’s not a drive-thru, it’s a career for the young people who come to the school,” PDC founder and CEO Steve Shumaker told The Huffington Post in a statement.
“They come to learn how to drive.
It’s not about earning money or even money on the job.
It is about learning about their passions.”
Shumaker said that he has not yet decided whether to close PDC, which is located in Seattle’s Central District, which includes Ballard, Capitol Hill and Rainier Beach.
Prestige is a one-stop destination for drivers from the U.S., Canada and Australia, with more than 100 programs in over 100 states.
“The driving school is not about being a career, but about learning to drive, which has been the most important part of driving since it started,” Shumak said in a release.
“The driving course has been an incredibly valuable tool for us to help young drivers grow and get ready to get out there in the world.”
Shumanak said that PDC is committed to educating drivers for the future, including those who may someday drive in a commercial vehicle.
“Our goal is to have a driver for every driver, and it’s important for our students to be aware of that,” Shumanak told HuffPost.
“It is a big part of why we want to continue to expand the program to give more of our students the tools they need to succeed in the industry.”
The PDC website offers information about the program and the driving school’s career.
“I would love to keep all of my students here in the community,” Shumiaker said.
“We have the resources to keep them here, but it’s not for us.
We are a nonprofit, and we need to raise enough money to continue.
We need to keep our doors open.”