In July 2007 I contracted Transition America (TA) to perform career services for me. The contract was $4750.00 for 24 months. This business is owned by Kirk Leipzig, former owner and CEO of JL Kirk and Associates, which is no longer in business.
TA promises high results for their fee including resume creation, interview training and most importantly, an "in" with local hiring managers and HR contacts, as well as a proprietary database of job listings. However, once the resume has been created and a mock interview performed, the company essentially performs no other services. The database is a small select number of companies also advertising their positions on free sites such as careerbuilder.com and monster.com.
I found out recently that Transition America is no longer in business. Their phone is disconnected, they have moved out of their Maryland Farms office (5141 Virginia Way) and the only contact I have been able to locate was my actual career counselor, who is now working for another recruitment firm. I still have 18 months remaining on my contract, of which they have been paid in full.
After much research, I discovered that Kirk Leipzig has been suspected of unethical practices concerning his companies. It seems once consumers become aware of his tactics, he closes up shop and re-opens under another business name. He previously worked for Bernard Haldane, who operated under the names The Michaels Group, BH Careers International, and Bernard Haldane Associates, all out of Dayton, OH. 5 states, including Illinois and Kansas, took legal action against Mr. Haldane for his business practices, resulting in $300,000 in refunds to clients. Mr. Leipzig was an employee of Mr. Haldane and claims the relationship was only that, however, it appears Mr. Leipzig did indeed buy the company and its assets and is following the same deceptive business model in various states. I saw other clients in their offices and can only assume they are in the same unfortunate position I am in.
JL Kirk & Assoc. may sound familiar as they made national news last April when they threatened to sue a Nashville woman who wrote about their practices on her blog. Her name was Katherine Coble and to my knowledge, the issue has since been dropped by both parties.
It sickens me to be out this money as obviously I was in need of money since I was on a job hunt. I can only blame myself for believing what I was told and falling for this scam. What upsets me more is that this individual, Kirk Leipzig, will reopen soon under a new name and have a whole new roster of unsuspecting clients, who like me, were in the vulnerable position of needing employment and believing services promised would be rendered.
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