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Helena company plans to take over for New Horizons

July 10, 2002View for printing

A Helena-based company plans to pick up where the New Horizons Computer Learning Center left off - training New Horizons' clients.

By MICHAEL MOORE of the Missoulian

Don Luke, who previously worked for New Horizons and recently was hired by The Computer Training Center said the Helena company will provide training to people who paid New Horizons for training but never received it.

"They are willing to take on some of the people who, quite honestly, took it in the shorts," Luke said.

New Horizons closed two weeks ago, after it failed to renegotiate its franchise agreement with the national parent company. New Horizons Missoula and another office in Billings were owned by Billings businessman Tom Kennedy.

Luke worked as a sales manager for Kennedy until shortly before the Missoula office closed.

Luke said he and the company's operations manager joined TCTC within a couple of days, then brought some of their sales force over as well.

Luke said the owners of TCTC, Ben and Patty Lesofski, decided to pick up the New Horizons customers, figuring it might cost them in the short run but ultimately lead to more business.

"You know what they say - you got to spend money to make money," Luke said.

New Horizons' parent company also has offered to try to help clients who paid for training but never received it.

Luke said he knew of at least four individuals, as well as several businesses and government agencies, who'd contracted for training they never got.

"There was a guy in Butte who worked for McDonald's," Luke said. "He wanted to change his life, so he took out a loan for $13,000 for training and now he's got nothing. We're going to try to help him out."

Luke also said TCTC hopes to offer the training by early August, and said the company also wants to expand to Missoula to fill the void left by New Horizons' demise.

"There's definitely a market for the service," Luke said.

Reporter Michael Moore can be reached at 523-5252 or at
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