College Works students ready to paint
By Nick Longworth
A current St. Cloud State University (SCSU) student with ties to Park Rapids wants to paint your house.
A.J. Spears, a graduate from Park Rapids High School who is also majoring in recreation and sports management at SCSU, is also the branch manager for College Works Painting in Bemidji and Hubbard County. Throughout the summer, as a part of his internship with the California-based company, he will be managing crews of “skilled painters who do high quality exterior paint jobs at an affordable price.”College Works was founded in 1987 in order to help college students “acquire real-world business and leadership skills through business ownership,” according to the College Works website. The organization now operates in 18 states and employs over 1,000 students as “branch managers” per summer, according to the site.Once hired, the new branch managers undergo a series of training meetings to make sure they are qualified enough to manage the crews of painters working on paying jobs.From there, these managers hope you will hire their company to paint your house. In exchange, you will help the student garner valuable real-world experience, as well as, hopefully receive a professional paint job at a discounted price.Spears grew up in Park Rapids. He was a member of the U.S. Army for three years - doing one tour in Afghanistan - prior to enrolling at SCSU. During his service, he was a team leader who ran a successful gun crew.He sees this work ethic as directly applicable to his new position as a branch manager with College Works.Spears claims that as a part of this internship program, he “will refuse to take payment until you are 100 percent completely satisfied with the work that has been done.” He is also offering a 10 percent off coupon towards the cost of painting a home.Through a Google search of reviews on the website Yelp, College Works has received a rating of three out of five stars from reviewers.Some, including the most recent review from last October, claimed that “College Works painting is a fantastic company and they are a pleasure to work with.” Also, that “College Works Painting is definitely a company I recommend.”Others, however, weren’t as gracious, saying, “I would highly recommend not using this company, and paying for true professionals to paint your house. The college kids are all very bright and charming and ambitious, but the painters and the attention to detail are unprofessional.”Hire a professional company, or help students gain valuable experience, while receiving a discounted price and (hopefully) still a quality job: the choice is now yours.Free estimates are available.A.J. Spears can be reached at either 252-6118 or 888-450-9675.