Tuesday, August 5, 2008

College Works Painting

Chad Rose - Payroll God from College Works Painting in Cancun just hanging out for our annual Cancun trip.


David said...

Dang who is that good looking guy on the homepage? Is he a painter or just a cool guy in your payroll department? If he is in payroll tell him great job this year for getting all my painters paid on-time!

Bob said...

January 21st, 2008, 5:00 am. by Jan Norman

Matt Stewart, co-founder of College Works Painting in Irvine, was delighted that his summer house painting company had 95 percent customer satisfaction. After all, the company, which offers college students a way to earn money while learning to run a small business, paints 12,000 houses a year. And house painting is an industry that typically gets lots of complaints.
But then Stewart saw a Web site that a dissatisfied customer in North Carolina put up. Suddenly, the whole world could read bad things about the company. “We have more happy customers than any other painting company in the United States,” Stewart said. “That’s not good enough. Even one upset customer is too many.”
What would you do? Here are a few of College Painting’s steps:
Get expert help
Improve communications, both with customers and front-line employees who directly deliver service - or don’t
Call every unhappy customer
Train employees what customers expect in the way of service
Track employee customer service performance
Reward employees who give quality service.

Bob said...

these guys are terrific!

Rachel said...

I found this great article about CWP. Check it out!

College Works Painting:
Young entrepreneurs get a
chance to tackle business early

By Christy Krueger
Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, June 06, 2008

A national organization is training local college students to become entrepreneurs, giving them real-life work experience accompanied by the responsibilities that go with it.

College Works Painting, founded in 1993, is one of the largest exterior residential painting contractors in the country, with branches in 19 states. Through paid internships, students receive hands-on leadership and management training and learn skills that will help them hit the ground running upon graduation.
John Komadina, a University of Arizona student who began with College Works in February, said, "To me it’s to further develop kids just starting to get a feel for what’s in store for them. Life starts in three years. It’s hard to believe I’ll be out of school looking for a job."

Komadina took an interest in science while attending Salpointe Catholic High School and was offered a full scholarship to UA. Last month he completed the second semester of his freshman year with a 3.92 GPA and has ambitions to become a physician.

What does painting have to do with medicine? For starters, Komadina plans to someday run his own practice, which he admitted requires some business knowledge. And he feels anyone can benefit from a College Works internship, no matter what field of interest he or she is pursuing. "It’s important for everyone to have experience running a business, dealing with people you don’t necessarily agree with and to manage people."

College Works Painting interns, known as branch operators, canvas neighborhoods, give sales presentations and offer bids to potential clients between February and May after an intensive training session. In preparation for the start of production, which takes place during summer months, each intern begins his employee search process in the spring. He conducts interviews, hires, and sometimes fires painters. "We had to fire two people on the first day," Komadina noted.

Three district managers oversee approximately 15 College Works branch operators in Tucson. Managers are students who spent one or two years in the internship program before moving up through the selective process to become supervisors.

This year’s production for Tucson’s College Works painters began on May 26, after school was out for the summer. Komadina, like the other branch operators, will spend the next two months overseeing his jobs and managing a crew of two. He also plans to be out doing more selling.

"It’ll be easier during the summer," Komadina suggested. During the spring semester, "It was hard to keep a balance between school and the internship. Weekdays I spent most of my time studying and making calls to possible clients; on weekends is when the business was really run."

Those few busy months were so difficult, Komadina said, not everyone made it through the semester. "A lot of interns haven’t stuck with it; it’s a lot of work during spring. They ask for at least a 20-hour commitment each week. I’m very excited to get started with production."

Several lessons are there for the taking by participants in the College Works program. Komadina believes the experience has taught him about managing and organizing his time, something he can take with him wherever he goes. At first he was reluctant, he said, when he was told to get a planner. He never used one before and didn’t adhere to that suggestion until he heard it several times. Then he started to use one, "And I’ve been doing it ever since."

He also feels he’s gained people skills from the internship. "It’s given me a better idea of gauging people and different personalities, learning better communication skills with people I work with and learning compromise. Originally, a lot of times I was out of my comfort zone."

David Streitfeld, the College Works district manager who recruited and hired Komadina, agreed the internship is difficult and time consuming. "John is an incredibly hard worker," Streitfeld stressed. "He really balances a lot. One thing that appealed when I hired him is his drive and will to succeed. He was pledging a fraternity, doing the program, and was a full-time student with hard classes. He was able to balance everything."

Tucson College Works interns are still scheduling painting work for the summer, and homeowners can receive a bid by calling John Komadina at 490-0498 or the College Works Painting home office in Irvine, Calif. at 888-450-9675.

rachel said...

College Works Painting To Present Check To The Make A Wish Foundation

(PRWEB) December 28, 2007 -- In November, the combined effort of College Works Painting employees culminated in a check for over $33,000 going to the Make-A-Wish organization.

What can $5.00 do to set a good example and change somebody's life? College Works Painting employees and customers worked together this year to give back to a fantastic cause and prove $5.00 can make a difference, especially if hundreds of university students making their first venture into entrepreneurship collect the $5.00 from every customer they have.

"Running a company these days involves supporting your employees, supporting your customers, and supporting the community. Employees want more then just a job; they want something they can rally behind. Companies have a great opportunity to help organize this positive energy and make a big mark on the community," said Matthew Stewart, co-founder and co-CEO of College Works Painting. "My favorite aspect of business management is this leverage concept," says Mr. Stewart. "Our employees have taken a few volunteer hours and a few customers donating $5.00 each and turned it into over $33,000 contributed to the Make A Wish Foundation. $5.00 from a customer, combined with the effort and additional customer generosity, will create a few dreams come true for children with cancer."

"We selected Make-A-Wish as the recipient of our donation because we believe in their mission. Many of us have been personally associated with children that have benefited from Make-A-Wish efforts and kindness," said Mr. Stewart.

Business executives in the United States face some tough challenges in the coming years. In addition to the change in raw material costs and the effect of currency value fluctuations, leaders have to incorporate more then just work into the business. Employees today shift jobs based on value allegiances, learning experiences, and long term employment desires more then location and even financial rewards. They can smell a fake, and they align themselves with companies that support causes they support, conduct themselves in similar manner to the employee, and give off the desired image. "College Works loves that trend," says Stewart. We are all about allegiance based on what we stand for, more then anything else. I give a lot of speeches, many of the questions I answer revolve around how to discover what your company stands for and how to incorporate this into your daily job. This is the best part of being a business leader, you get to do that!"

For more information on College Works Painting go to www.collegeworks.com

About College Works Painting

College Works Painting offers university students the opportunity to run a business while in school. College Works programs train selected college students on all aspects of business management including: sales, marketing, customer relations, interview and hiring, production management, profit management, strategic planning, and more. After the extensive training, student managers are paired with a mentor and placed in charge of a painting business for the summer. The College Works program is recognized as one of the most selective internship opportunities available to university students. College Works offers training and experience available nowhere else today. College Works Painting aims to provide the most challenging, most rewarding, most profitable, and greatest learning employment option to university students across the country.

rachel said...

Columbia MIssourian

May 7, 2007 | 12:05 a.m. CDT
Last September, MU students Alana Zhu and Meghan O’Hara were sitting in two separate lecture classes when a sign-up sheet for a “summer opportunity” was passed around on a clipboard.

“I didn’t really know anything about what this ‘opportunity’ actually was,” said Zhu, a sophomore majoring in accountancy. “All I saw was that it was an informational meeting about an internship.”

“All I knew was that it sounded hard,” O’Hara said. “It was something new, but it seemed like something that would be a great challenge.”

Seven months and many meetings later, Zhu and O’Hara are each preparing to run their own business for the summer and hope to make a lot of money doing it. They are Missouri “branch managers” for College Works Painting, which is a part of the National Services Group, an organization designed to teach students how to be successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

Zhu and O’Hara had to fight off some significant competition to get the internship. Chris Heerdegen, Missouri vice president of College Works Painting, said that approximately 4,500 students within the Missouri branch of College Works Painting applied for the internship. Just 58 applicants were accepted. The painting company, which operates in 22 states, provides its interns with organizational and marketing tools for their business and a “district manager” who serves as a guide for their decision-making.

Alex Khatskin, who will be O’Hara and Zhu’s district manager this summer, said College Works Painting is connected to a host of American businesses through the National Services Group, including FedEx, Sprint, Host Hotels and Resorts Inc. and the accounting partnership Ernst & Young. Heerdegen said the company also has numerous networks through internship alum who have started their own businesses.

The internship, which began in February and continues through early September, requires Zhu and O’Hara to line up paint jobs, hire marketers and painters, see the jobs through to completion and file payrolls. Last month Zhu and O’Hara began gathering estimates for paint jobs near their homes in the greater St. Louis area.

“I’ve spent probably 15 to 20 hours every weekend since March going around and lining jobs up,” said O’Hara, who is a freshman majoring in physical therapy.

Heerdegen said the program’s success is due to a combination of the interns’ dedication and work ethic and the skill and support of the district manager.

Though Khatskin said he initially helps his branch managers through a training program that includes working up estimates for jobs and organizing marketing strategies, he will serve more as a sounding board and a source for guidance than as a supervisor.

“I tell my interns, ‘I can steer your business, but you have to push the gas pedal,’” Khatskin said.

Zhu said that Khatskin’s guidance does not mean she’ll forego the chance to make business decisions.

“We do have superiors, but they aren’t telling us how to spend any of our money,” Zhu said. “They’re merely investors in our success.”

The way branch managers earn their budgeted money relates to how many job estimates they collect. Zhu plans to earn $60,000 in sales, and O’Hara’s goal is to have a six-figure sales budget. “Average” branches, according to the company, earn $50,000 in sales; Heerdegen said Missouri interns average around $9,300 in profit.

But making a profit is rarely easy, even in a structured internship setting, said Alan Skouby, an adjunct assistant professor at MU’s College of Business who specializes in entrepreneurship.

“It’s tough to run a business, no matter what else you’re doing,” Skouby said, “Especially when you’re selling a service, keeping good relationships is a continual operation.”

While disappointment is always a possibility in business, Skouby said the time to start thinking about becoming an entrepreneur is in college. “I encourage students to dig in and see what happens and to get some experience,” he said. “Students are going to have fewer dependent obligations now than they would as adults. I encourage them to get going because procrastinators on any level of business usually aren’t successful.”

Zhu and O’Hara have quickly become organized, setting a schedule for themselves that accounts for nearly every waking hour of their day.

“Up until now, I never really kept much of a schedule,” O’Hara said. “But it’s definitely most beneficial for me to set times to do everything so I can get my schoolwork and my internship work done.”

Both women realize that success during their internship isn’t guaranteed, because entrepreneurship is a naturally risky endeavor. They said they have been told that it takes an extraordinary amount of work to make a profit. Zhu said she was told to expect to work nearly 50 hours a week this summer if she wanted to meet her sales goals.

“Oh, I know it’s going to be hard — very hard,” she said. “There are definitely times when I’ve been worried about not having enough jobs lined up. But after every day and every new estimate, I gain a little more confidence and more motivation.”

Despite the high expectations that Zhu and O’Hara have for the summer, neither of them are currently thinking about starting their own businesses

after college. Both said it’s possible their opinions may change, but for now, they will be proud to have the College Works experience on their résumés.

“Learning to be confident and to be clear in communicating are skills I can take into any field,” O’Hara said. “Presenting myself well, learning to manage my time — these are lifelong skills that I’ve already got a head start in learning.”

rachel said...

Painting positive numbers: College Works Painting August 18, 2008 PST
by Rachel Toyer, Staff Writer

College Works Painting’s numbers continue to increase despite recent setbacks of the economy in the United States. Since January, College Works Painting has increased its client total by more than 600. Still not able to match the 10,400 clients from the year 2004, the company continues to stay positive and anticipates business to steadily start to increase in the near future.

College Works Painting was founded in 1993 and has increased to 19 states from the East coast to the West coast. The mission of the company is to help as many qualified college students as possible gain work experience, not just any work experience, owning your own painting business? It’s true, after a screening process students are selected to be Branch Managers and head up the neighborhoods in their area. After a lot of training in safety, marketing, business and customer service, the Branch Managers then employ students to be a part of their team.

One of the unique services is the free estimates which the students provide to homeowners. In the year 2006, College Works Painting was able to paint more than 12,000 homes and received an unmatched customer satisfaction rating of 97%.

“The experience of being a Branch Manager with College Works Painting completely expanded my mind. I realized that my employees and customers rely on me to be in charge,” said former Branch Manager Chris Beckett.

You can rest assured that the employees at College Works Painting will get the job done right, as employees receive bonuses for completing projects safely and efficiently.

“These students are competing so to speak with one another,” said former Branch Manager John Temple, “I remember what that is like and I know that we worked hard to do the job right so that when bonus time came around we would have no excuses.”

For more information about College Works Painting whether is be applying for the internship or requesting a free estimate, visit the website www.collegeworks.com

David said...

College Works Painting is NOT a multi-level marketing or "pyramid scheme" company. Our products are painting houses. We have a management structure in place to make sure we do a fantastic job painting houses. We do not charge fees to join our company. We do not require any membership fee or upfront payment

rachel said...

Article about Jeff Gunhus, from the Townson University online newspaper


What do your greatest passion and college career have in common? Jeff Gunhus, author of "No Parachute Required: Translating Your Passion into a Paycheck -- and a Career," will tell you they should be one and the same.

"Pursue your passion above all because that's where you are going to find your happiness," Gunhus said. "Society rewards people with money for excellence. The only way you're going to be excellent on something is if you're great at it. And the only way you're going to be great at something is if you're passionate about it."

This advice is easy for Gunhus to give -- that's where he found his career. He and his partners bought a million-dollar company in 1996 when Gunhus was only 23 years old.

Since then, Gunhus has expanded his company, the National Services Group, to a $10 million career training industry for college interns. He's managed to transform his love of working with people into a successful profession.

Gunhus' experience working with students prompted him to write "No Parachute Required," which was published by Hyperion this month. The concept behind the book is to help guide undergraduates through the often frustrating and tedious process of choosing a career.

"There are 1.2 million people that graduate every year from college," Gunhus said. "They have one thing in common: they all graduated from college. They can all say that. So how do you distinguish yourself?"

Gunhus advised that the most important thing is to remember to enjoy the time you spend at work. Some of the messages Gunhus hopes to convey include words of wisdom like don't chase money because you won't find it if you are miserable, and don't follow in your father's footsteps just because he's pressured you to be an ophthalmologist from the day you could pronounce the word.

He said students should find what they enjoy and go from there. As Gunhus put it, choose your career; don't let it choose you. His book is designed to get college graduates to that point.

"I am trying to form a more coherent philosophy of [doing] something that is meaningful," Gunhus said, "as opposed to having a job as a way to trade hours for a paycheck."

The book contains no secret equations for choosing a career. Gunhus is not a big fan of the self-help genre, but his book is designed to help students discover the kind of people they are, which in turn will reveal what they want out of life.

"I divided it into two parts," Gunhus said. "The first is to discover where your passion is, and decide upon a direction. The second part is, now that you've decided on a direction, how are you going to get there?"

His approach is to target issues that people deal with not only as they graduate, but also during their first five years in the work force. "No Parachute Required" is tailored to the college market because undergraduates face different challenges than the average person looking for a career change and draw from different resources. People just getting started are also more willing to take risks.

"When you first graduate from college you have the most energy, the most freedom that you're probably ever going to have," Gunhus said. "What an awesome opportunity to take that one in a million chance."

Gunhus added that those who take chances and work hard are likely to succeed.

"Anybody can do whatever they want to do," Gunhus said. "They just have to have the perseverance and tenacity to chase after it."

rachel said...

Check out this website, click here for the 20 interview tips needed to "nail" the interview!

Check out College Works Painting, for summer internships!

Skye said...

Tax evasion. Most branch operators pay their workers in cash, because they have no payroll pool.

evision said...

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earn and learn

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David said...

I have looked into college works painting pretty thoroughly, and in my eyes, it is a pyramid scheme, at least to some degree. Branch managers are hired to essentially run their own business. They find their own customers, and painters. Absolutely no supplies are given to the branch managers. When the job is said and done. The company takes a whopping 40% of the earnings, leaving the manager and the painters with hardly anything. Those who are higher in the company make money off of those who actually do the work, and those who actually do the work get "experience." This is why you ONLY hire college students as branch managers. Because they need internships to put on the resume. Now i understand why a 25 year old could have moved up to vice president so quickly. No one wants to work for this damn company. Also being the fact that the newly hired branch managers hire the painters, they do not hire professional or even experienced painters. They hire whoever they can find, which is usually just some guy who needs extra cash and doesn't care how good of a job they do. Which is why there soooo many complaints from those who have used CWP's services. The guy who came up with this company had a great idea, hire great motivated workers and pay them very little, because they just want the experience and resume booster. What A-holes.

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