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College Works Painting, Irvine, CA

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: College Works Painting, Irvine, CA
Company Description: College Works Painting gives undergraduate students an extraordinary opportunity to build a competitive resume and gain marketable skills by teaching them how to manage their very own painting business. We pride ourselves on delivering quality workmanship at a fair price, on immaculate job-sites and earning the unqualified trust of our customers.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Materials & Construction

Nomination Title: College Works Painting

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2013 (up to 525 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Since January 1st, 2013, College Works hired over 2,500 college students and gave them the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by running their own businesses.

College Works hires high-achieving college and university students and trains them on the basics of managing a business from start to finish. Each selected manager oversees the marketing, sales, production management and customer relations of a house-painting business in their hometown. Interns are provided with the tools and training, the systems and support and the licensees and insurance necessary to manage a successful business during the summer.

The requirements are confidence, leadership skills and motivation. Student earnings range from $2,500 to $50,000. Princeton Review’s “The Internship Bible” (2000 Edition) had the following to say, “College Works Painting interns experience running a business, have fun working during the summer and develop incredible leadership and management skills. NSG has developed a one-on-one training system that has helped past interns prove they have what it takes to excel in entrepreneurial ventures and in the corporate workplace. The College Works internships provide a learning experience unparalleled in the country.”

Working with freshman business people, College Works remained the largest privately held residential house painting company in the country this past year. The students, working for only 6 months of the year, worked with over 10,000 homeowners across the United States at an average of 97% customer satisfaction rating (unheard of in the industry).

Since College Works hires college students, there is a lot of seasonal hiring that must take place. The obstacle we must overcome is: how do we rehire, train, inspire, manage, and provide a great finished product to our customers with new interns each year?

Our solution has always been to hire great leaders from within to manage the business and train our new employees. But our biggest innovations and breakthroughs this last year have been in further systemization of our sales process, systemizing our safety program, and creating a robust client management tool 100% from scratch in house.

Since we are so spread out among the U.S. (22 states from coast to coast), it has always been a challenge to systemize how we provide our services to our clients and employees. We’ve created a robust intranet site (recognized by Inc. Magazine in the “Inc. Magazine Web Awards) that generates reports enabling our executive team to hone in on any and all issues, providing customized support to every employee we have. This tracking and management tool, has dramatically decreased the time it takes to train them on how to become proficient at sales, excellent managers, and more efficient with their time in the field as well.

Safety on jobsites has always been a huge priority for us. This last season we implemented several new things that have helped decrease our jobsite injuries by over 66% in one year. We aim, and may have achieved, for a goal of running the safest house painting company in the entire nation.

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:

In 1996, Matt Stewart co-founded National Services Group (NSG). National Services Group operates: College Works Painting, SMJJ Investments, and Empire Community Construction. Matt has received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Orange County Business Journal, was named “40 under 40,” and has twice been a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award. Matt sits on the Board of Trustees of: St. Mary's All Angles School, The Power of Choice Foundation, and is the immediate past Chairman of the Global Board of Directors for The Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). Matt travels the world speaking.