I was looking for a summer job in my town (which has a very limited seasonal job market), so when I got hired on to College Works Painting (CWP) as a painter I was really excited. I really like manual labor, and painting is a new skill that would be fun to learn. But the unprofessionalism of my employer made the job lose its fun really quickly.
First off, there was really poor communication between the employer and the employees. When I got hired, the employer asked me if I "would be okay doing a little marketing here and there? It's a good way to get some money before you actually start painting." I said sure. To be honest, I don't really care what I'm doing as long as I am getting paid.
But, it turns out, I wasn't getting paid, and the marketing wasn't optional. I had to market for four hours every week with no actual reimbursement beyond a measly commission. Now, this of course is legal (they don't have to pay for work if your total pay at normalizes to at least minimum wage), and you can require people to market if you want. But neither of these factors (the lack of pay and the requirement of marketing) were not communicated to me upon hiring.
But more importantly, the company (as one might expect from something run by college students) is really unprofessional. We had to attend this training to learn how to paint. We had to drive to the next town over (it's about two hours away) for the training. We were supposed to be there at 7 am, but we (being driven by our employer) didn't show until 8:15. Yet even the district managers weren't there yet, and nobody cared that we were an hour and fifteen minutes late.
The training consisted of us helping paint one house. There were about twenty five painters from all over the region, but one ladder, one paint gun, one paint brush, and about three rolls of masking tape. So those of us not lucky enough to have one of the few supplies were subjected to being yelled at by the supervisor running the training for standing around doing nothing.
The training was bad in other ways, too. I was lucky enough to be on a team with somebody who had painted before, and spent a lot of time pointing out the mistakes to me and, before he was criticized by him, to the supervisor. For example, people would place plastic drop cloths over shrubs so they don't get all painted on, but you're supposed to leave at least one side open so the shrub can "breath". That was never mentioned, so all the shrubs ended up completely covered for hours in the hot sun. They're probably dead now.
I quit after the training. Yet, Oregon labor laws required that I be paid for my training within five days of quitting. I waited two weeks, and still hadn't gotten paid. So I called my supervisor. She didn't answer, and didn't return my message. I called her again a few days later. This time she replied, and told me she would bring my money that day. It turns out she had thrown away my paper work before even entering it to the "system", so she would just have to pay me a flat rate, an estimate of how much I should have been paid. It's been a week now, and even though I've called her a number of times, I still haven't gotten paid.
If you're a college kid looking for some summer work, don't apply at College Works Painting. You'll end up frustrated at the unprofessionalism of your supervisor and the lack of communication in general, and if you quit you'll probably end up having your wages stolen from you.
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- In the very beginning, I was recruited at the University of Cincinnati. I went through multiple interviews and eventually was hired as an intern/branch manager. Began training in the Spring and began meeting with homeowners to provide work for the Summer. When Summer rolled around, I hired my painting crews to produce the homes that had decided to work with me back in the Spring. I would definitely recommend the program, especially to anyone looking to work in business or start their own business in the future.
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- I have learned so much as an intern with College Works Painting. I have real experience with managing and running my own business that sets me apart from my peers. This internship required hard work and dedication to see success, but I learned how to grow my clientele base, hire and manage employees, satisfy my clients, and control the finances. It was an unforgettable experience.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I contracted College Works to paint my home in Sandy Utah. The home is older and had many areas that concerned me. ** and his crew examined these areas and performed the necessary prep work (caulking, scraping, sanding, etc.) that needed to happen prior to painting. They were very meticulous with their work, and addressed each area on the house thoroughly. Now that the house is painted, it looks absolutely amazing. I am very impressed with their work and recommend them to all.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I am currently in my fifth year with the company and thought I would give an unbiased and informative review of my experience so far.
As an intern, I ran my business out of Brookings, Oregon and did $100,000 worth of business. The experience was pretty good for the most part. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be but it ended up paying off. I made good money for school and also learned a lot about how to work with customers and hire my own employees. During my first year though, I did see that not everyone was as successful as I was. Some people quit or had to be let go, some people did more average numbers ($40,000 - $60,000 revenue) and there were a few who did really well. Not everyone succeeded.
For three years after that I worked out of Oregon State as a District Manager and hired my own team of interns to do what I did during my first year with the company. It was a great experience and again was a lot more work than I thought it would be. The only drawback was all of the driving that I did. I learned a lot about how to teach and coach marketing, sales and production management. Again, we did have a few people that dropped out and not everyone successfully completed the internship for one reason or another.
I'd have to say that most of your success with this program is in how hard you work, but also how smart you work. Putting in a lot of hours is not always the best way to do it. Entrepreneurs think in terms of results, not the amount of hours... and this program is a great teacher of that. If you're looking to work for an hourly wage the rest of your life, this may not be the best internship for you.
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- As have others, I too, struggled financially while going to college and so I thought giving a college student an opportunity to provide income for said student was a noble thing to do. The character of the student who sold us this job gave great assurances regarding the completion of the job to our satisfaction.
Half way through the job, a patched area of stucco was evident prior to the paint being applied and my wife questioned whether or not that would be a problem. The salesman used his favorite reply,"no problem." After painting over the aforementioned area, the finish was entirely different from the rest of the surface area. Told it was unacceptable, the salesman's solution was to add four(4) more coats of paint to the area to which there resulted in no noticeable difference.
This area is a direct eyesore to neighbors and passing traffic. My neighbor across the street came over and asked if were going to leave that area untreated and said it was very noticeable from his front yard. After two(2) discussions with the salesman about how he intended to rectify the problem he said that his company did not do any patch work and that they had contracted only to paint the house. It didn't seem to bother him when he asked me to cut tree branches away from the house or cut back bushes so that his job would be made easier.
However, on their website, it states as part of the prep work, College Works.com, will wire-brush flaking and deteriorating stucco as well as stucco-patch large areas. This is a direct contradiction to what was stated by the salesman. The completion of the house is nearly over and the rigidity of the salesman stands. As this situation is ongoing, I will report the final outcome to these pages in the near future. Arcadia, Calif. is a beautiful area of So. California and I would not any blemish on my home to upset that standing. More to follow.
We have all seen the usual complaints about this company. College Works is noted for their carelessness about getting back to the customer, their indifference towards their painters, and the discrimination that goes on when hiring interns. The majority of individuals who work for this company are white males. Not a surprise.. This is the case for many businesses. Though, the thing that sets College Works apart from other internships is the lack of morals and professionalism from higher staff.
Put aside the recruiting process, the customers, the painters.. and look at the relationships between their employees inside and outside of work. Trips to Cancun and Vegas will surely catch any college students eye. But what happens when their workers take their relationships outside of work to a completely different level. A bit unprofessional, don't you think? College Works in Arizona certainly does not seem to think so.
The Vice President of College Works in Arizona should be called out for her immoral and dishonest actions. This woman lacks the maturity and principles to keep a professional relationship with her fellow workers, specifically interns. She gains their trust by giving them guidance about the business world and takes advantage of their dependence by sleeping with them. Disgusting.
This is the case with many other Vice Presidents and District Managers of College Works. California, Texas, Illinois - you name it, they did it! Why is this allowed to go on? People see it happening, yet they do not say a word. This is the wrong kind of loyalty, the wrong kind of mentoring all together.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- Without the doubt, the absolute worst choice one can make for an exterior paint job. We hired College works for an external paint job and the entire ordeal was a debacle. There was little to no prep work done (the most important aspect of an exterior paint job) and paint everywhere! It was a real mess.
Fortunately we halted the work before it was finished and hired a new painting (Experienced) company to start all over again (which was a must). Every painter that bid on our house was appalled at the little to no prep work (poor power washing, no caulking, very little to no sanding) done on our house, which is over 100 yrs old. The amount of paint everywhere was also troubling - driveway, brickwork, garage door, the roof, everywhere. I don't think a drop cloth was ever used.
The kids that were doing the work were polite, however they received little to no guidance on how to do their job. I felt bad that these kids were not even provided the basic skills at painting. I highly advise for anyone needing an exterior paint job - to look elsewhere or you will be repainting your house in a couple years.
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, CALIFORNIA -- College Works Painting did an AWESOME job of painting my summer home. Their students were courteous and paid attention to the smallest detail. Their pricing was hundreds lower than the local contractors. The last time I hired a high-priced contractor, it took weeks before he even got STARTED. 2 of the contractors that were supposed to come to my house and give me an estimate and never showed or called again. College Works Painting showed up when they said they would, called when they said they would and did the job that they promised for the same money as the 'one coat latex' jobs the other guys were trying to pitch.
I've seen some others arguing that these students are under trained and only have a couple years of hands on experience, sheesh folks, it's not about how you work your wrist with the paintbrush, its about how much the painter cares about the job he does. These students paid attention to details and surpassed my expectations by far. Thanks College Works Painting, I will use you again and refer my friends and family!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I had College Works paint my house last year and it was unprofessional, poorly done, sloppy and they left my home a mess. I complained several times; they sent out one service person to verify yet the fix-it painters never came. Sent several pictures to a company executive who told me it was "the worst paint job I've ever seen by any company." Yet they've never made it up, made repairs, finished cleaning--and now the original job is already peeling and nailheads are showing through.
They are all talk, no action and did a wholly unprofessional job for a professional price.
Here are some example photos: