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College Works Painting

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Posted by Dcasalena on 09/28/2007
First Impressions:
I should have known there was going to be trouble ahead when the branch manager for College Works Painting, was a day late for our first meeting at my home in March.

College Works Painting (and Student Works Painting owned and operated under parent National Services Group) recruits college students to essentially run franchises in towns across the country. These students are responsible for hiring workers and making sales of their painting services to businesses and residents in their area.

This initial meeting was supposed to be an introduction, presentation of the work College Works Painting does, and a 2 hour walk-around followed by presentation of an estimate/quote to paint my house. The branch manager assured me that she would have a 2-week intensive training and I wouldn't be required to make a final payment until I was completely satisfied with the results.

A couple days after this first meeting the branch manager called to see if I was ready to sign a contract for the job because the summer was booking up quickly with jobs. I felt pressured into making my decision hastily, but having worked my way through college and paying my own tuition and expenses, I appreciated young people willing to work hard.

A week later I signed a contract to have the body of the house painted (no doors or window trim), and I asked to have the work done in late July because we were expecting a new baby in the last part of June and a vacation planned the first of August.

Poor Communication:
In April a College Works Painting sign was placed in my front yard. I never heard from College Works Painting again until early July when the branch manager said she'd like to start the job. I explained we agreed that work would start in late July. The next 2 months were a series of missed and late appointments. The branch manager never came to the house at times scheduled, often arriving an hour late or not at all. I frequently left work early to be home on time for scheduled meetings only to wait an hour or more, and sometimes no one would come at all.

At the first meeting just before work was to begin in late July the branch manager, my wife, and I discussed what color to paint the house. There was a semi-transparent stain already on the cedar clapboard siding. The branch manager recommended using a solid color acrylic stain because it would last longer than a semi-transparent. She said she would come the next day to put a small test patch on an inconspicuous area of the house to show what the color would look like. No one came the next day.

Test Patch:
3 days later the test patch was applied while we were away for the weekend. The inconspicuous area where College Works chose to do the test patch was 3 feet by 1 foot right next to the front door. The solid color stain looked like a dark brown patch of paint and didn't look at all like a stain. Due to the location of the test patch, we couldn't now opt to use a semi-transparent stain as was currently on the house because the dark brown patch would be an obvious blemish and eye-sore. Our only option now was to have the entire house painted. College Works Painting agreed and said it would change the cost, an increase of $1300 above the original quote. I knew it would take more work and materials to paint instead of stain, and despite not having the option to stain the house anymore, we agreed and selected a light green color for the body of the house. Still no doors or window trim would be painted.

Work Begins:
On August 1, a worker came to the house to begin the prep work taping and covering the windows and doors with plastic. The worker finished covering about half the windows, enclosing the windows on the living room, kitchen, dining room, and porch. I called the branch manager that morning to discuss her plans and when the job would be finished. College Works Painting didn't call back.
The following day no one came to the house and the branch manager didn't return my call until that night.

No one came back to the house to finish the prep work for a week. This was August and we were baking inside the house because the windows were covered with plastic.

On August 6 College Works Painting returned my phone calls which I had been placing twice a day for four days to find out what was happening and when the house would be painted. The branch manager said she would have the house finished in two days. I explained that we were going away for a vacation the next day and she should have the house done in plenty of time before we return seven days later.

On August 13 we returned from vacation and found one worker at the house applying the first coat of paint. All the windows were still covered over two weeks later. The branch manager promised the job would take no more than four days when we signed the contract. The painter got about half the house painted with a first coat of paint, but couldn't continue because the sprayer was malfunctioning, and there was no ladder left for him to reach the second floor. That night I noticed that College Works Painting was not using a primer, a critical error because they were painting a light color over a dark stain and because cedar siding is known to stain paint over time as tannic acids bleed out of the wood and through the paint.

The next two days no more work was done on the house, and the branch manager did not return my phone calls. I was forced to call the College Works Painting headquarters and voice my complaints.

On August 16 the branch manager called me and said she would have the first coat and the entire second coat finished by the end of the day. This seemed unbelievable, but I was happy to see such a flourish of work being done after such a long wait and so much frustration. We scheduled a walk-around to review the work at 6:30 that evening.

That evening I got home and saw a disaster. The paint was streaked and splotchy around the entire house. There was paint splatter on the driveway, plants, and brick patio all around the house. There were several spots on the house that still showed the original brown color, and every door and window frame had been dripped on or sprayed with paint. The branch manager arrived 30 minutes late at 7:00, and the first thing she said when she saw the house was, "This looks terrible." We walked around the house and I pointed at all the touch-ups needed and paint damage to the patio and landscape. She said College Works would be back the next day to fix the touch-ups, but the streaked and splotchy paint was the result of conditions of the wood siding that she could not have foreseen, and I would have to pay for another coat of paint if I wanted it fixed. I stated that I had contracted College Works Painting to paint my house. At no time, and nowhere in the quotation or contract was there a specification for 2 coats of paint only.

No one came the next day as promised to fix the problems, but the branch manager came that night and said I would need to pay another $800 to fix the streaked and splotchy paint with another coat of paint. I explained again the contract was to paint the house to my complete satisfaction, not to apply 2 coats of paint.

College Works said they would not do anymore work on the house, not even correct the damages to the landscaping, window trim, and doors, until I made a payment, contradicting our original contract to pay when the job was finished. At this point the branch manager told me she didn't think I would ever pay. I explained that we have a contract to which we are both bound and that I would pay but not until the job is finished as written in the contract written by College Works Painting.

College Works never came back to finish the job after this, and I incurred approximately $1500 in expenses and time to repair the damages to doors, window trim, landscape and patios caused by College Works painters.

During the following 2 months the paint on the house began to be stained by the tannic acids bleeding from the cedar siding through the latex paint. I spoke with 5 different experienced professional painters and they all said that any experienced painter would have known that to prevent this from happening with cedar wood siding, a stain blocking primer needed to be used first followed by the latex paint. College Works Painting did not use a primer, instead they only applied 2 coats of latex paint.

The House Still Looks Bad:
Eventually College Works Painting took me to small claims court to force a payment from me despite admitting on the claim that they had not finished the job. The settlement awarded me reimbursement of the $1500 in materials and time I had put into repairing many of the damages caused by College Works Painting, and College Works was required to return to my house to remove the stains on the paint, then prime, and repaint the areas of cedar bleeding. They were also required to apply more paint where "lap-lines" showed from paint application (the streaks).

The problems with splotchy paint appearance are still not resolved, but having had enough frustration I let College Works Painting finish the work by correcting the cedar bleeding problems that we could see. I paid the balance due for the job minus the $1500 owed to me for my expenses, and learned my lesson about hiring unprofessional workers. Time will tell if the cedar bleeding will be a problem in areas that weren't repainted, and I will repaint the areas showing streaks on my own to insure it is done right and put this behind me.

Final Warning:
My final warning and words of wisdom gained through this experience are that if you want unprofessional results, hire unprofessional painters. I did, and that's what I got. I recommend hiring only experienced, professional painters when the time comes to improve or maintain the exterior appearance of what is likely the biggest investment you have. There are probably some college kids who can do a good job painting houses, but it's not a risk worth taking without seeing their previous work.
     
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Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2007-09-28:
Wow. Glad the judge saw through their frivilous litigation. I bet they were counting on you not to show so their lawyers would get a default judgement. Thanks for the warning, and great review - you have spectacular writing skills.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-28:
What a disaster! Thanks for the warning to all.
Posted by Frenchie on 2007-09-29:
As I posted on another one of these "College Painting" rip offs. I don't have a lot of sympathy because my family has been in the painting bsiness for over l00 years and do nothing but quality work. Never have to advertize - plenty of referrals.
The first coat (the prime coat is the most important) and apparently you did not get the correct coating. The damage is now done and thru the years you will have all tpes of problems, probably lots of peeling,etc., should have used a vapor tolerant coating. I could go on and on.

Always remember to talk with professionals -- do you want a shade tree mechanic working on your car? Maybe he knows what he is doing and maybe not. Get references on everything. Sorry to go so long, but this has always been a sore spot with me and especially when I was also in the paint contracting business. I did work quality work for many prominent people who wanted the best, and I knew which coatings were the best & proper for a job.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-09-29:
good well thought out post, very helpful.
Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-10:
College Works Painting did a fantastic job on my house. The manager in charge was my neighbors son. He completed the program last summer and I gained a ton of respect for the program and the company. It changed Michael's life in a great way. The amount of respect and integrity he was taught last summer cannot be gained anywhere else. His parents are huge supporters as well and my house was done properly and looks great!
Posted by Dcasalena on 2007-12-10:
koskijus who posted the comment just above this one is Justin Koski, an executive vice president of College Works Painting. He is not the client he says, this is the kind of fraudulent people that are running this business. From the College Works website I found justin koski:
Justin Koski
Executive Vice President
Justin Koski is a Michigan native who graduated with a Marketing degree from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University. Justin started off as a student manager his Sophomore year at MSU for CWP and has continued to be a top-performer at every level of the company. As a VP in Michigan he has led his team to become one of the largest divisions in the nation and his role as an Executive VP has become a passion as he runs national trainings and mentors other division heads and executive teams to excellence.
Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-12:
I did not say I was a client in there anywhere Dominic. I was quoting an excerpt from a reference letter. We received over 550 of them them just last season in Michigan. I will make that one and any others (like the one below) used on this sit available for full viewing on our website as well at www.collegeworks.com.
Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-12:
From a client in Michigan "When we hired College Works Painting we were expecting the best service and quality available based on our initial sit-down. We got one step better! Eric and his team were incredibly professional and our 1892 Colonial was not an easy project for any painter. I would recommend College Works to anyone looking for a painter who cares about them..."

-Debbie Randal, Williamston, MI
Posted by koskijus on 2008-01-04:
I would like to announce that we have PDF'ed approximately 350 reference letters from; past managers, clients, painters and parent of managers to our site at www.collegeworks.com for full viewing. We will continue to portray thoughts of these people to aide in your research on our fantastic company. I strongly urge anyone who would like to talk about their experiences to email me with thier contact information at jkoski22@collegeworks.com. I prefer to not remai anonymous. Thank you!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-04:
Seems that College Works Painting spends a lot of time running around doing damage control. I believe everything Dcasalena posted about College Works Painting.
Posted by Mzbo0gie on 2008-01-05:
I don't usually comment on these websites, but after stumbling upon all the College Works bashing, I felt the need to speak up.

I worked for CWP for almost three years in SoCal, and have had a great experience. I am no longer with the company, but still miss it sometimes. I am such a happier person now because of all the confidence I've gained from running a business that produces quality results.

I do believe you Dcasalena that you had a poor experience. I truly feel bad for it, and hope you never have another consumer experience as bad. However, College Works is just like any other company out there: imperfect and still learning. In no way do I believe fradulent people are running CWP... in fact, the people on top that I've met have been nothing but kind. True, a FEW student interns probably should have never been hired, but for the most part, CWP does beautiful work, and I've met many happy clients.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-18:
After reading the above complaint and comments I immediately felt the need to make a comment of my own. I am a college student who last year worked for College Works Painting and since have been promoted to a District Manager position with the company. This year I will assembling a team of quality managers and helping them run successful businesses. Last year as a manager I completed the summer with a 100% customer satisfaction rating as well as a reference letter from each of my customers, and not once did I have a customer complaint. College Works Painting is ranked top 100 by the Princeton Review based on selectivity. Only about 5% of applicants actually receive the internship. Now, that does not go to say that the original complaint didn't happen because I'm sure it did (what would be the point of telling a lie), but just like any growing business, employees who maybe aren't cut out for the job sometimes slip through the cracks. You can't tell me you haven't or atleast know somebody who hasn't had a bad experience with a "professional" contractor at least once in your life time. My point is, CWP didn't hire this manager so that he/she could sabotage your house and purposely give you bad service. They provided this manager with the opportunity to get real world experience and had the confidence in that manager to do a professional job. Furthermore, they hired me as a District Manager this year so that I can teach my managers how to successfully run a business with a 100% customer satisfaction rating. This just goes to show that they want customers to have a good experience. The whole idea behind the service industry is to build a strong clientele base. How could CWP survive with non-returning, unhappy clients spreading the word around that they are providing a non-satisfactory service? The answer is, they couldn't. The real truth is that CWP is a very professional company and they ARE providing professional service as well as providing college students with an opportunity to gain real world experience and better their future. The personal and professional growth, business management experience, sales experience, marketing experience, communication, and leadership skills that I have gained through this internship and will continue to gain in the years to come could only have been made possible by College Works Painting. I'm sorry you let an incompetent manager convince you that he/she could give you the kind of service you were looking for, but it is completely your fault that you didn't make sure of it before signing the contract. I encourage any and all homeowners to see for themselves whether or not a CWP manager is competent enough to give you the kind of service you are looking for. I am confident you will be satisfied with the result considering CWP's combined customer satisfaction rating over 28 years is above 95%, which is the highest in the nation for any painting company especially the nations largest painting contractor in the nation...which we so happen to be.
Thanks for reading!
-Andrew
Posted by Dcasalena on 2009-02-10:
The comment from Afrakes echos all of the sales propaganda on the company's website and marketing material. In fact I have yet to see College Works Painting listed on any "Princeton Review" of internships showing College Works Painting as a top 100 company. If there is such a reference someone please provide it.
Posted by johnfd on 2009-02-18:
In regards to Dcasalena: I'm very sorry to hear your story, however I think you are terribly wrong when it comes to professionalism as a whole from college works in the work environment. I had my house painted last year and College Works did a magnificent job on my house for at least 10% less then the other guys. (The other guys showed up for the estimate with a strong smell of booze) College works was on time, courteous, and had a good work ethic. Listen, you have to understand that college works is a large company and unfortunately you were probably the .001% of customers who had an issue with the service you received. Also, I did do some research on the college works and the Princeton review and found the article in the Princeton Review internship Bible. (http://books.google.com/books?id=jGYey3aGXtgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Princeton+Internship+bible&client=firefox-a#PPA392,M1) Check out that link and go to page 392. They recently had to change the name (from student works to college works, same owners though) due to the .001% customers like you(and the other 3-4 people) trying to sabotage a highly valued internship that changes the life of students, for the better. Before you make any preconceived notions be sure to check out the BBB (Irvine, ca address) where you can see College Works has a very high rating. I will use College works again for any of my painting needs. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message. I give College Works an A+.
Posted by RendellFan on 2009-05-22:
Dominic asked for a reference to the Princeton Review top 100 listing. I have Student Works Painting listed among about 72 other companies as "Internships with the Highest Compensation" on page 461 in "The Internship Bible, 10th Edition, 2005" by The Princeton Review. On page 462 and 463 of the same book, about 150 companies are listed as "Most Selective Internships." Student Works Painting is NOT among those companies listed. The internship bible does give Student Works Painting 4 out of 5 markings for "Selectivity" on page 392. I think that it's very possible Student Works Painting in one of the earlier 9 editions of "The Internship Bible" made the list of the "Most Selective Internships," though I do not rule out the very real possibility that during Student/College Works Painting's unethical recruiting practices, someone simply made up that selling point.
Posted by toddling on 2009-07-28:
I wish I would have seen this a couple of weeks ago. I have a friend who hired college works and your report is exactly what they're going through right now: lots of no shows, the work is being done very slow, poorly or not at all. In fact, the manager is now calling to ask for money (before they're done after receiving the initial deposit); and its funny he's calling now for money because no one has been able to get a hold of him for days.

I was just at my friends house moments ago and the job they're doing is the worst I have ever seen. They did not tape or plastic of anything, they used no primer at all, they have cleaned up nothing. Horrible company, assuming you want to call an operation like this a company. Grifters is more like it. I recommend that you stay far away from this company if you value your house.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-08-27:
Yes, Justin Koski is the person in charge and yes his intial entry to this thread was misleading. The rest of the pro-college works people really do not have a clue. I am probably the most recent addtion to the houses CW has screwed up. The best line that the writer wrote in this was....if you use college works to paint your home you have 50/50 chance of getting it screwed up. My neighbor got it done with no problems. I got it done and there is overpary on 5 sections of my roof and they dripped paint and overspray everywhere which stained my siding. They want to replace only 1 section of roof (regardless if it matches the rest of the roof) and paint my siding to cover the the spray and drips on that. I have 3 bids for repair and they are all around $20,000.00. Justin does not want replace anything. These are our homes and I find it appalling that the lesson being given to these kids is that you are not responsible for your actions. The corporate office told me that i would have to take them to court. They also take no respoonsiblity for their actions. If there is anyone out there that has expereinced a loss as a result of College Works please contact me. I have retained legal help and would like to see if anyone else would like to join me.
mswilsonmi@aol.com
Posted by lame on 2009-09-21:
Those of you who have commented that you have a 50/50 chance of receiving a "good" job are 100% correct. I am ashamed to admit that I was a "Branch Operator" running a painting business as a college kid for a summer job. It was a second job that I took on and found responsible painters who did a great job. I was doing a business minor at the university and there was a person from College Works who came to talk to our class. Promising this was a prestigious opportunity and that it would pad our resumes. Well, I found out a valuable lesson. Corporate takes advantage of the little guy. Yes you, the home owner, pays decent money for this job and expects decent work in return. Just know that probably half of what you pay goes to corporate and then the other half is divided amoung the Branch Operator and their crew. I'm pleased to say that my crew did a good job and all of our customers were satisfied. However, word gets around about other Branch Managers in the city, especially the ones who are having the problems you all have mentioned. What a sham. After that summer I was much too embarrased, on account of other crews, to even want to put this experience on my resume. Being a college graduate I was hoping to make this a great opportunity for my resume as much as make a nice amount of money. I got hosed and didn't accomplish either of my goals. I wish I could tell every college kid doing this to STOP and not go any further with it.
Posted by former manager on 2009-12-04:
The experience i had with Student Works painting not enjoyable. I am a former manager. They start you in the program with recruitment being a sit down with a District manager and a start up cost of $380. To sign a contract (which no signed copy was returned to me:and others)(District manager gets 4% of your take) Than the company takes 25% on top of that 4%... so were now at 29% of pure profit dollars going to the company.(for an avrerage business up to 400000 over the summer break) Now they send you off after a seminar too book work. which by the way is really hard to do when 29% of the prices dont hold any value except a cheesy warrenty. Now i booked 10000 and produced 7000 of that at the beginning of the summer. and as apposed to the company releaseing the money so that i could leverage my business to hire more cold callers too find more work.. they hold on too it. not sure what the logic is there. but now without seeing any money (also with a broken leg) i refuse to do more business until some is released. bottom line is i got to the end of my summer and i was paid 2000 on 10500 that i had booked and produced. 1300 of that 10500 was paint and supplies. the rest went to student works..when they were only entitleed to 3045 plus the admin fee of 1200 75 for life insurance and 150 for shirts. 5070 is what should have come out
its a scam. there is no trust in the company as far as im concerned. I could not get my District manager to help at all. and he made false promises about the money being released.
I should have known better from the beginning when i heard of a event that had happened within the company with other managers. So a sucessful manager had become a district manager and brought 20 other managers into the company. She/he is entitled to that 4% as the District manager. Alot of those 20 people/businesses did 75000 that year 75000x.04x20= 60 000 lets just say the district manager was fired and all of the money skipped a step in the company....not very fair...
during my training seminar a sucessful manager was "stolen from" and had words with the owner. I should have taken this as a warning...
Posted by 8137productions on 2010-02-26:
You should have stopped them at the test patch, hired a professional painter and had the pro take care of fixing the test patch- it could have been sanded down so that you could have the house done uniformly. If you pay someone who knows what they are doing, they can handle a task like that. In the end, it always costs less to do things right the first time.
That they took you to small claims court cracks me up. They obviously don't realize that a contract means what it says- if they signed it, they're not getting paid per the terms until they fulfill the terms. They sound like serious boneheads. I was considering applying for training there, sounds like a waste of time. Thanks for the heads up.
Posted by Raptor528 on 2010-05-06:
I am a former Branch Manager from College Works Painting. They have a manipulative business that preys on college students. They told me I would be paid during the pre-season for estimates and booked jobs. In three months I gave over 40 estimates and booked nearly ten jobs equaling close to 12k. During those three months I got engaged to my friend and we started planning our wedding. With that change in my situation, I needed money sooner than anticipated. When I asked for compensation for the work I was told I could "draw" money from the profits I would make during the summer, I would then refund that amount at a later date. This came as a surprise to me. During the interview process I was led to believe that we would be paid for each estimate and booked job. Without a steady income I decided to quit and found a new job that pays. I have been told by my District Manager that I will not receive any compensation for my work. So basically College Works Painting just took 12k in revenue without spending a cent. I was hoping that they would let another intern take over my jobs and that the interns would benefit from my work... but oh no, my District Manager told me that they would just sub-contract those jobs out to other painting companies, resulting in the company keeping the profits, leaving the other interns dry. And they were the ones questioning my integrity for quitting! I have a sick feeling that this is a far too often scenario.
PS: A warning to painters. As interns, we are taught to skim off the top of your budgeted labor. For example, let's say I budgeted labor for a job to be $1000. According to incentive pay, you would make that amount no matter what, thus providing an incentive if you finish the job much faster and more efficient than anticipated. So the client will pay the bill with that $1000 figured in. We were taught to lie to our painters and tell them we had budgeted labor much less than what was actually budgeted, say $700, and then we could keep the rest ($300) for ourselves. I don't think this type of business practice is appropriate for college interns learning to be tomorrows business leaders. I am glad I got out. Just wish I did sooner.
Posted by CWP_Jaded on 2010-05-09:
Please, PLEASE read this carefully-- whether you're a homeowner, or a future branch manager of CWP.

I am a former CWP manager. I spent the entirety of the past year and summer engaged in the program, from which I profited roughly $4000. I'll take this opportunity first to speak to future managers, and then to homeowners. Managers: despite everything you've read, CWP is NOT a "scam." It's a business in every sense of the word, but one with a brilliant marketing concept. You see, college students are an easy sell. First of all, it's so, so very easy to recruit eager, willing college students to slave away their summers for CWP. And why not? It looks great on a resume, it gives you "real world experience," etc, etc. At the end of the summer, you'll realize that the number of hours you put into this job translates to MUCH less than minimum wage -- trust me, I've done the math for myself and a few of my colleagues. Don't buy into all this crap about "How much money you make depends on your work ethic." Bull. How much money you make depends on your luck in landing massive, $12k jobs and cutting enough corners to pocket $3k from that.

But the marketing scheme is unbelievably successful. I'd agree that this company probably has an overall 50/50 satisfaction rate--something which would KILL any legitimate painting industry. So how does CWP survive? Simple. Every homeowner wants to help an ambitious, young student who's trying to scrap together enough money to follow their dreams-- in fact, this is probably one of the sales tactics you've probably been trained to use. You roll in to an estimate, shock the homeowners by presenting a price LARGER than the local painters--and then you sell them the college sob story. Trust me, I know, I've done it, and in retrospect, I feel terrible about it. But I honestly thought that I could do a quality, professional job. After all, the company keeps drilling into your head that "Painting is easy; anyone can do it!" This is FALSE!! This is also my biggest gripe with CWP. They do NOT train you how to properly paint a house. Our "hands-on" training session was 3 days of goofing around on a single house with 30 other branch managers, during which our (FREE) labor was used to profit one of our Division Managers, who had sold that particular job. During that training, I held a spray gun for all of 5 minutes and did brushwork for about 30 minutes. Then I was expected to take these "simple skills" and train my own painters, who were college students themselves. Sufficient to say, painting DOES require a level of skill: issues like blotches, streaking, blistering, and applying coats too thick are all things that professional painters learn to handle. You do not. There's a real difference between people who've done the profession for 30 years, and someone who's done it for 30 minutes.

I probably could have handled these problems if I had the time. Unfortunately, CWP trains you to budget jobs to complete them in the fastest possible manner. Raptor 528, who reviewed above mine, laid out the specifics of how we're taught to lie to our painters about budgeted hours, so we can skim larger profit margins off the top. I decided not to do this. If my painters worked hard and finished ahead of time, I threw them a couple of extra hours of pay instead of pocketing it myself. This cost me about $1500 in profit by the end of the summer, but it earned my painters' trust and loyalty, and quite frankly, it made me feel better. I encourage you to do the same with your workers. Because in the end, this isn't all about making money. I know your DM's have certainly promised you lots of cash over the past few months, but the honest truth is that maybe 1/50 managers break $8k in profit. (In my group of 9 co-managers, only 1 of us did so.) If you're going to do this internship, do it to gain those real world skills (i.e. handling crisis, managing teams, thinking outside the box, dealing with angry customers--I learned a LOT about these things, and it's certainly helped me).

Homeowners, I'm going to post again momentarily to address your needs. But my bottom line to CWP managers is this: College Works Painting benefits and thrives off YOUR work ethic. Think about it, the company overhead is 40% of every job (split between your DM, your VP, and the company itself). That's outrageous. Seriously, that's ridiculous. That's the reason your prices are so freaking high. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you're the one winning out on this deal-- you aren't. You'll inevitably screw up some houses, embarrass yourself in your hometown, and some of you may even lose money. [NOTE: The $2500 bottom salary they "promise" you includes the loans that you've already taken out to pay for equipment, marketers, supplies, cold calling, travel expenses, etc.] So if you're committed already, see this thing through. But don't buy into the crap about screwing over your painters, lying to homeowners, etc, to maximize your profits. The company doesn't give a crap about you making an extra $200 on a job -- that probably means that they made $500 extra in raw profit, at your expense.
Posted by CWP_Jaded on 2010-05-09:
This one's for all the wary homeowners. CWP managers are not bad kids, but they are trained and encouraged to be very fast and efficient (emphasis on FAST) in completing their jobs. This is because every job is allotted a certain number of labor hours, and the faster the job is done, the more profit the manager makes. This does NOT necessarily mean that the job will be done sloppily/ poorly. I know from my experience that I made my painters go back and fix up messy portions (although I often did it myself to save a little money, since I don't mind getting my hands dirty). My best advice for you is to try and gauge the level of honesty/sincerity in your CWP manager during his estimate session/sales pitch. We are trained to engage in pressure sales tactics (i.e. if you sign on the spot, you save 10%), but the reality is that this discount is left entirely to the discretion of the manager. I personally offered a 3-day extension on the 10%-off to several of my homeowners, mainly because I've been raised to be very skeptical of pressure sales, and I felt very uncomfortable forcing anyone to sign immediately. [Frankly, when you're dealing with a $3-5k paint job, it's a little ridiculous to ask someone to commit on the spot.] So don't begrudge us the sales pitch, but please understand where we're going from. Statistically, if we don't get a signature on the spot, our chances of booking that job decreases exponentially.

That isn't to say that all managers will offer an extension. In fact, many will not. The reason being very simple-- college students DO need money. So if you're enthusiastic about helping out a college kid financially (and I met a lot of folks who definitely were), and you get a good vibe of honesty and integrity from that person, go for it. I'll talk about quality in a second, but in terms of prices, CWP's budget is fairly competitive with local painters (we tend to come in the middle range). I'd say that 90% of my 25 homeowners were satisfied with the job I performed--in no small part, I'm sure this had to do with my openness with them, my willingness to come back and fix things up, etc. I'll warn you that there's a general attitude of "get the job done and grab the check" in the CWP business, but there ARE a lot of good, honest kids working for the company who will do the best possible job and stick around to help out. For example, I developed a very friendly relationship with the vast majority of my homeowners, and I still enjoy seeing them around town.

I would recommend asking around the neighborhood and checking out personal references before booking with a CWP manager. If you have a very complicated paint job (i.e. color changes, difficult trim work, 3-story houses), or a very expensive job, make it a point to ask your manager about his painters before signing him. A lot of my fellow managers hired experienced painters from the local area who were able to tackle these kind of jobs in the allotted time, but most of us tend to hire young, inexperienced painters. Simply put, these younger painters will not be able to provide a high level of perfection. So be warned.

As a final point, I'd like to clarify something about reference letters. I disagree very strongly with "koskijus"'s misleading post above, in which he quoted a reference letter under the obvious false pretense of being a homeowner himself. (Save the tricks, man; that's exactly what makes CWP look so sketchy.) Most, if not all, of our reference letters are not "volunteered" to us out of the generosity of the homeowner. We're trained to ask for them--and oftentimes, I did a few extra favors and touch-ups to earn mine, as part of a deal (i.e. I offered to extend the 10%-off discount if they would provide me a reference letter, assuming the job was to their satisfaction). If you read these letters, they tend to be a testament to the CHARACTER of the manager, and less of an ode to the quality of the job. Most homeowners enjoyed the experience of interacting and working with an enthusiastic, polite college student, and they feel like a reference letter will help those kids achieve their future dreams. In many cases, they will. I'm sure my letters will help out in future job interviews.

My bottom line is this: don't be fooled by letters posted on CWP's website, or on sites like these. CWP invests a LOT of money in damage control--going so far as to bury negative reviews at the bottom of the google search engine. Take their letters with a grain of salt, just like you should take the complaints you find online with a similar grain of salt. Of course there are terrible managers out there. But speaking honestly, from the bad managers I've met and worked with, I'm a little surprised they got a homeowner to sign on in the first place. Some of these CWP managers lack manners and come off like oily car salesmen trying to turn a buck. So use your common sense and intuition when you meet with the kid.

In the end, it's not a gamble to work with CWP. You ARE helping college students, and generally they perform a satisfactory job. If, however, you're trying to save money, or have an extremely difficult job, I'd advise looking to local contractors for estimates. The only benefit in working with CWP is that the price they offer during the estimate is FINALIZED -- even if they underbudget the job, you are not obligated to pay them more. On the other hand, I've spoken to many homeowners who worked with professional painters that did a poor initial estimate, and ended up asking for $2-3k more during the course of the job. Professionals also tend to take their time, and if you don't like having a crew of painters hanging around your windows for 3 weeks, CWP is a better option.

Hope this helps clear some things up. If anyone has a specific question for me, feel free to post. I'll be on vacation till mid-June, but I'll try and get back to you.
Posted by CWP painter on 2010-06-13:
This is a comment from an actual CWP painter telling you NOT to get your house painted by CWP.

I'll just start from the very beginning...So I I applied to an add on craigslist looking for house painters. I got a call some while later and was interviewed over the phone and then told to come to a group interview that same day. I went, and at the end was given a time to call later to see if I got the job. I called and was told I got the job and was told to come to the trial run on Thursday. I went and and was met with 7 new people, none of whom knew each other from other interviews. We were taught how to tape up windows and repair cracks. After 2 hours they started telling people to go home. All that remained were me and another guy. They told us we had the job. We were there from 7am-7:40pm, painting the house and told to come back on Monday. I was excited all weekend that I finally got a job. That didn't last long. Come Sunday I got a call from the manager (who had just turned 19 by the way) telling me my services were not needed, but to keep in touch. I asked why. She said the customer had complain about my work and that she wanted someone with more experience. We'll to go back in time a bit, I asked why she chose us 2 workers and she said we had a great work ethic and experience and were great at taking/fallowing orders. I also asked about payment of the 12 hour day we had put in and she said everyone on that job would receive payment. I have still not received a penny for my work. I'd be surprised if anyone did. I'd be surprised if the other worker was still working and not called at the last second to say he was no longer needed as well. I should have gone back to see if there were 7 new people ready to paint because that the vibe i got from everything.

My final message, If you think College Works is a scam on getting your house painted you are wrong, you will get your house painted by students with no training and no experience. The real scam is the people who are painting the house. We are tricked into thinking we have a job when really they use us to do all the work and no pay. Its a scam to hard working college students due to all the money making middle men and all the lying manager/interns/ whatever you want to call them.
Posted by To College kids considering CWP on 2011-07-29:
It's a terrible job market. Make no mistake though, there are no short cuts to getting to where you want to be. I know many who have landed awesome internships and high paying jobs out of school. The way they accomplished this was ONLY through consistent good grades, legitimate internships in their incredibly specific fields, and especially doctored resumes and polished interview skills.

When a CWP representative recruits you, they will make many true statements, but they will also naively make many incorrect statements and promises. They will tell you that hard work, unique attributes, and internships are important to job recruiters - and they are. They will also tell you that recruiters look very highly upon CWP managers because it's evidence of an entrepreneurial drive and someone who worked 60 to 80 hours a week over the summer.

They will give an analogy of, "Do you think a recruiter at company A is more interested in someone who ran a $100k business over the summer or someone who worked at Subway?" This is where it gets really tricky and you need to pay attention. Yes, CWP looks much better than the next candidate who worked at Subway this summer. But I can't stress how much an internship at company A or company A- or even company B or C or D are so much better than CWP. The recruiters will look on CWP as sales, possibly customer service. Someone will look at CWP and think you did summer door to door sales. Another will look at your resume and think you painted. Another will look and think you were an aide.

I promise no recruiter for any legitimate company will look at it as evidence of an ability to perform in a corporate setting. They won't look at it as evidence of an ability to perform in a healthcare setting, a lab setting, a field setting, etc.

Now my story:

I was a CWP manager. I ran an successful $100k revenue business. After CWP's cut, paying labor and materials, my profit on paper was $17k for 8 months (Jan. to Aug) of work. The coverage area I was given was 60 miles from my home. Gas averaged $3.50/gallon. My car went about 23-27 mpg. With those conditions I put about 37,000 miles on my car over 8 months. I conservatively attribute 29,000 to CWP driving.

After paying door to door marketers, miscellaneous supplies, car repairs, extra minutes on the cell phone, extra texting on the phone (req'd by district manager), CWP accounting errors, warranty holdbacks, CWP accounting adjustments, CWP activities, CWP vice president fees, CWP late paperwork fees, new clothes, etc... I took home about $10,500 over 8 months. Not bad, though remember after the 80 hours a week during summer months, I earned a little more than minimum wage. I'm okay with that though, I don't think I deserve more than that as a freshman in college.

Upon finishing CWP, I happily put CWP at the top of my resume and began applying for internships. It was time for my resume to shine above my peers b/c I had good grades and a great entrepreneurial internship, surely CWP I thought would give me an edge when applying for business/finance internships. I thought to myself, I have accounting experience in a small business, management experience over painting and marketing teams, I'm set for any business internship. Oh, how wrong I was.

My peers all got internships during the fall months. I didn't receive any interest. I started talking to my friends, seeing what they thought got themselves internships. They all had experience gained through networking, or legitimate unpaid internships, or volunteer work. They also listed classroom experience, travel abroad, clubs, organizations, and leadership in these activities. If they didn't have the work experience, they showed what classes they took, the case studies they worked on, the competitions they submitted work for, etc.

So from there, I began lessening the prominence of CWP on my resume and I put my relevant classes, my GPA, my extra-curricular activities, and my business internship class I simply signed up for as a part of my class load. What happened after that? Those early spring months I started getting interviews. I sat in front of reputable company recruiters. I interviewed with Ford, Northwestern Mutual, Raytheon, Sears, Discover, JP Morgan, Liberty Mutual, and numerous Fortune 1000 companies. I honestly don't remember all of the companies I interviewed with. It was such a busy semester interviewing simply because I didn't try to flaunt CWP. I listed CWP, but I definitely did not spend more than 15 words on it.

The Ford recruiter said something very interesting to me. He was interviewing for a corporate finance position. Upon interviewing and reviewing my resume further, he said, "I get the impression you want to work in investment banking, not corporate finance. I think you'd be better off working for someone like Goldman Sachs."

WTF? The Ford recruiter actually told me essentially, "you know you’re probably better off working for one of the top investment banks in the world, not here." So what did I do from there? I applied to GS, JPM, Citi, etc, and I got interviews! What’s my point? My point is, if you want to interview as the manager of Sherwin-Williams, go do CWP. If you want to go to med school, get an internship in health care. If you want to do public relations, get an internship at a news corporation. If you want your PhD in English, suck up to your teachers. If you want to work in business, get a business internship.

Now, credit where it is due. I currently work in my dream job. I work in a growing company in an arguably stagnant economy. I get paid to do what I like to do. I support my wife and children because of my current vocation. We live in a nice house in one of the wealthiest cities in America. CWP helped me get my dream job. CWP was on my resume, but it wasn’t first or second or even third on my qualifications. It was hidden on the resume, but I must give some credit because CWP was at least listed somewhere on my resume. Maybe it made my resume well-rounded. I doubt very much after having worked in the corporate world that any recruiter will give 3 seconds of thought when they see CWP on your resume. I think 1 or 2 seconds, but definitely not 3 seconds.

Don’t do CWP.
Posted by Sherry on 2013-08-22:
Isn't it amazing, i'm going through a similiar experience. To make a long story short, John was my intern on the job and yes he promoted the student/internship and yes I always want to help our youth. John is a true salesman. Once I signed that contract it was one thing after another and i'm just in the discovery phase of what I can do.
When I did my research on their history, all you see is the positive, I've really had to do some deep digging to find this blog. Customers out there beware. My house is in disarray and has been for the past 3.5 weeks.
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Worst Paint Job Ever
Posted by Ceebs on 09/25/2007
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:



College Works painters - overspray College Works Painters - Poor quality 1 Poor paint job 2
Poor paint job 3 Oil stained field stone Bad window painting job
     
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Posted by Frenchie on 2007-09-25:
That's what you get when you hire college kids to do your painting. They just don't know how. I know for my family has been in the painting business for a hundred years. You probably got a lower price and snow job than from a legitimate paint contractor. Truthfully I have no sympathy.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-25:
I have to agree with Frenchie. When it comes to things like having your house painted, it's better to pay more for a quality, long lasting job then a cheap, shabby job, as you have found out.
Posted by Sparticus on 2007-09-26:
I worked for one of these outfits when I was in college... I felt bad for the first few homes we did since most of us where trainees and had no real painting experience. They taught us the basics in a 2 hour class and then we were basically expected to paint houses like we'd been doing it for years.
Posted by Jop on 2007-09-26:
I know how you feel. I hired the most expensive contractor in the area because I was told I would get a first class paint job. The owner came out and painted for about 30 minutes then turned the job over to Arturo, I think a newcomer from Mexico. The contractor admitted he was being paid 10 bucks an hour. The job cost me about 75 to 80 bucks an hour and I paid for the paint. My job looks about like yours. I doubt I will ever see any of them again.
Posted by jenjenn on 2007-09-26:
I hired a contractor to paint my condo. He had good references, so I didn't think much of it. We did negotiate the price, but this was something he agreed to & was paid accordingly. He did a half azz job and basically said, "You get what you pay for." Sorry - HE was the one to agree to the lower price, but I ended up paying the price because he did a terrible job. If I wanted it to look unprofessional, I could have done it myself...for free!!! Live and learn...that's for sure!
Posted by moneybags on 2007-09-26:
Call a well-known realtor/real estate company in your city and ask for references for a painter. If anyone has experience with good painters, it's realtors. Or call a local paint store. They have names of good painters, too.
Posted by s.z. on 2012-07-07:
from a one man painting operator - i don't hire workers any more because the whole field is saturated with illegals that work cheap $10 hr more of less -cash - no taxes - plus they don't know what they are doing - if you are going to spend a good sum of money then call their previous jobs - call the insurance company make sure it is up to date - if they drop off workers make sure they look like they know what they are doing or stop the job - make them put in writing all details of job including end date - instead of 3 large payments , pay as job progresses , do a background check on the internet to make sure you are not hiring a criminal including workers - and the list goes on - hire american workers - its good for the economy
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College Students Perform A Great Painting Service
Posted by JamieS on 11/28/2007
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!
     
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Posted by GothicSmurf on 2007-11-28:
I love reading reviews like this! VH!
Posted by sarahnkrystal on 2007-11-28:
Sounds like you had a wonderful experience. Thank you for sharing (VH)
Posted by jenjenn on 2007-11-28:
That's awesome! I wish I had known this when I had my place painted. I hired a "professional." He was terrible & did a terrible job. Because we negotiated the price, he had the nerve to say, "You get what you pay for!" I sure did too. :( Apparently he forgot he AGREED to it...and I had it in writing.
Posted by Dcasalena on 2007-12-03:
I have a strong belief this was posted by an employee of the company. First College Works Painting painters get most of their business by going door-to-door in February through April, but don't start painting houses till June. If this person had a problem with a professional that couldn't start for 2 weeks, why would they hire College Works Painting who wouldn't be able to start for at least 3 months?
Second, because these students get business by knocking on doors, either this person was at their "vacation home" in the months af February through April, or else the painter came to their working home. If the student came to their working home, that painter wouldn't then travel to the person's "vacation home" to paint because the students are assigned no more than a few neighboring towns as their territory. Of course this person could vacation in the next town over, but I smell something very fishy about this review.
Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-10:
CWP painted my house. It looks great. I referred them to my neighbors and they did his house too. We are both happy with the work. The manager in charge was more than capable. it is just house painting!
Posted by Dcasalena on 2007-12-10:
koskijus who posted the comment just above this one is Justin Koski, executive vice president of College Works Painting. He is not the customer he says he is. He represents the kind of fraudulent people running this company.
From the College Works Painting site to prove he is not a customer who was happy with a paint job:
Justin Koski
Executive Vice President
Justin Koski is a Michigan native who graduated with a Marketing degree from the Eli Broad School of Business at Michigan State University. Justin started off as a student manager his Sophomore year at MSU for CWP and has continued to be a top-performer at every level of the company. As a VP in Michigan he has led his team to become one of the largest divisions in the nation and his role as an Executive VP has become a passion as he runs national trainings and mentors other division heads and executive teams to excellence.


Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-12:
Again, I did not say I was a client Dominic! Simply relaying excerpts from reference letters that are available on our website at www.collegeworks.com. Here are a few more'

"College Works painted my home this past summer and I can't tell you how happy I am with the work. The amount of care put into the job was amazing to me. I would recommend them to anyone who is getting painting done."

-Derek Lawson, Ada, Michigan
Posted by koskijus on 2007-12-12:
"The crew was professional and cleaned up after themselves. We have had our house painted three times in 16 years of living in our 1960's split level and the job Bridget and her crew did was BY FAR the best. The other painters spent three days at our house and Bridget spent five. They primed and rolled all the siding on the front and it looks great. The trim color is fabulous and Bridget was very patient with us when trying out colors. Thanks to Bridget, her crew and College Works we have the nicest looking house on the block."

Marcy Ryan - Clarkston, Michigan
Posted by Linda64 on 2007-12-28:
All I can say is that anyone that hasn't had a problem with College Works Painting is very lucky. We had our house painted this past summer and had to fight every step of the way to get things done right and to have the messes they left behind cleaned up. The prep work was horrible, the paint job was a disaster and it was obvious the painters had never been trained. They even threw razor blades on the ground in our backyard after scraping their paint off of our windows and poured paint directly into our trash cans. It was a nightmare and one we never plan to repeat. By the way this was College Works Painting in the Southern California area.
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Shoddy Management, Poor work Ethic
Posted by Rainbow angel on 06/15/2010
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- I am writing because I am terribly disappointed and angry. We met the representatives for College Works Painting at the SAHBA Home Show in Tucson, Arizona in April, 2010. The young men were friendly, and personable, so we gave your name for them to contact us re: possibly getting our house painted.

Anthony and Joe came to our house for an interview, and they were pleasant, and seemed knowledgeable, gave us a spiel about how they wanted the customers to be happy, while working to learn the management skills they would need over time to run their own businesses. We felt that it would be nice to get experience, while getting our home looking better.

We reviewed the contract, made selections, and decided to sign (my husband signed) and we gave him a down payment check, with plans made for the work to start in early June. On June 6, Anthony delivered some of the equipment, and they were to start work on Monday the 8th, at 6:00 AM. That morning, 2 young men showed up as scheduled, ready to work--but they had no information about the job to be done, colors to be used, etc. They started the prep, and within an hour, they were out of supplies, so they called Anthony for more. He did not show up for over 2 hours with 1 5 gallon can of paint. That was gone very quickly, and the workers were told that they had to get the job done so they could go get another one started. With no caulk, preparation was not being done, as Anthony had gone all the way to Ina for a tube of caulk. We live in Southwest Tucson. One of the workers finally got frustrated and started painting without the wall being prepared. The wind was blowing hard that day, and the sprayer did not have a regulator on it, thus, creating "gobs" of overspray everywhere.
My husband caught it later.

The second day, only one worker came, and he was only going to paint the Fascia, but we showed him the sloppy work, so he started doing everything that he needed to do to make things better. Unfortunately, the metal screen door on the east side of the house which had been painted, looked horrible, had great big globs of paint and the holes on the screen were sealed. The house door has big streaks of pain, and we will have to paint it over. The contract stipulated that drop cloths would be used, none were. There is overspray all over our decking, and flooring, and paint strippings from scraping are allover as well. There are cigarret butts all over the yard. Anthony saw the shoddy work, and he came by twice that day, wanting the remainder of his payment, but my husband would not give it to him until the job was completed, as stipulated on the contract. When he showed Anthony the doors with the overspray, and paint globbed screens, he spoke to his manager, and they took $50.00 off the price---Whoop de do. It is going to take more than that to remove and repaint the screen doors, as well as the house doors.

In reality, my husband accepted the deal only because he was not feeling well, was burning up with fever, and could hardly function. I was at work, came home to find the mess. My complaint is that the management, those above Anthony, Anthony as the student intern, have no consideration for doing what they claim, and the contract protects them really well. Money is the object, and the work was not worth what was done--10 gallons of paint, and 1 gallon of another color is worth much less than the amount of money that we will have to spend to "fix" the mess.

If I had read these reviews, we would never have contracted with them, and they certainly will not get any referrals from us. Even if the Student Interns are getting experience, the method through which they are getting it is unscrupulous, and totally a scam!!. Please, if you are considering using this company, DON'T. They have no conscience, and consideration for homeowners who work hard to save for payment, and end up getting lousy service. We did not complain to the company because after reading reviews, we figured we would have to end up paying more fees, which would have only angered us more---so we figure if others can read about our and other's experiences, we gain more from it. Thank You for posting.

     
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Painting for College Works Painting
Posted by Forrestparkay on 07/21/2008
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 payed. But, it turns out, I wasn't getting payed, 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 7am, but we (being driven by our employer) didn't show up 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 payed. 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.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-21:
Did you happen to learn that about 4 out of 5 painters are drunks?
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StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Experience With Painter
Posted by Paullee45 on 06/25/2013
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- Our house, last painted in 2003, went through an insulation project in August 2011. Numerous holes with grey cement filling appeared all over the external walls. We were, however, not thinking of painting as the last one was done in less than 10 years ago. In March, 2013, however, the situation attracted the attention of Sky of College Works Painting. He initiated contact with us. His enthusiasm and sincerity convinced us that it was time to seriously consider painting all the walls. An agreement was then signed in March, 2013. At our request, the work was completed in June.

It was done within a week. Two painters were assigned to work full time painting while Sky usually came twice a day to check on them, apart from the initial cleaning of all the walls done totally by him. Overall, my wife and I found Sky easy to work with. He was very accommodating to our requests. There were, however, left behind a number of small corners or parts here and there that needed touch-ups. We suspect that the painters might not have been equipped with finer tools like smaller brushes. They might also need closer monitoring. Probably the real test will be the heat of the upcoming summer sun and the dampness of the winter rains. We’ll see.

To assign stars, we would say 4.
     
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StarStarStarStarStar
Painting My House
Posted by Galeblaine on 06/08/2013
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- I contracted College Works to paint my home in Sandy Utah. The home is older and had many areas that concerned me. Jonathan 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.
     
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Excellent House Painting Experience
Posted by Gvkline48 on 06/06/2013
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA -- I recently had the exterior of my house painted by College Works Painting. My crew was led by Zach [snip]. They did an excellent job and met every expectation that we agreed to before the work started. The two most important things to me were that they were extremely detailed when walking the house before the work began and that they did everything that they promised, and did it on time.

They keep the work area organized and put everything away at night and walked the property with me. They also implemented safety measures while working on the roof. All the surfaces were prepped properly before painting and any minor issues that I identified were fixed without question.

I would obviously recommend Zach and his crew to anyone in the Flagstaff area that is looking for quality, reliable house painting.
     
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Managerial Development Internship
Posted by Jameswbrown on 06/05/2013
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Everything about this program challenges what students are used to doing. In my college career, this program has been the most beneficial learning experience that I went through. The skillsets you develop throughout the internship such as: how to manage people older than you, how to sell a product (and every profession you will pursue in your future requires selling at some level), and how to manage multiple responsibilities at the same time, are things that you cannot learn in a classroom. The internship is not easy, and not for quitters, if you have the will power to last to the end of the internship though, then you are truly a winner and your future rewards make the entire thing worth it.

I personally struggled through the program and did more things wrong than right and every day that I went to work in the business gave me a new reason to quit. Now, as a recent graduate from Texas A&M with a degree in engineering, because of having that internship on my resume I am getting picked for full time positions that I would otherwise have been excluded from. When I am asked questions in interviews, I am always able to use my experience with College Works as a positive answer to behavior based questions. And the leaders of the division that I was a part of still serve as mentors to me and help me make good decisions for my life. The difficulties of the internship ended at the end of the summer, but even now, 3 years later I am still reaping the benefits of it.

I would strongly recommend that anyone who is looking for a challenge and to separate themselves from the mass of status quo college students. At the end of the program you will be able to say that it was the most difficult and most beneficial thing that you have ever done and your only regret will be that you did not have one more month to hit your goals.
     
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Intern Year
Posted by Amatsikas5183 on 06/04/2013
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- This is a very frustrating and hard program yet life changing. You will not learn more about people, business, and about yourself with any other internship. DONT do this for the money. Do it to learn, grow and launch yourself 10 years ahead of your peers. I wouldn't recommend this to people that aren't willing to sacrifice a lot in order to get the most out of this. Working 80+ hours a week may be normal for some people during the summer as it was for me.

If you are competitive and are willing to do what it takes to get to your goal this program will surely test you. I believe this is definitely not for everyone and most people that fail prove it every year.

Everyone's experience is always different from the next person because you will work with a different district manager and you're personality, strengths, and weaknesses are not the same as the manager in the next city over.

I learned a lot but a worked ridiculously hard for it. No regrets.

There are some clients that don't get good service and complain... it's not the company it's you for not caring about your house enough to constantly check progress and on you for hiring the contractor. You hire the manager not college works.

     
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-06-04:
The amount of spam reviews posted by this company is hilarious.
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