Internship offers home improvementMitch Klee is thinking spring, even though Mother Nature isn’t. The University of Minnesota Duluth student has been spending his weekends knocking on doors in Superior to offer exterior painting services. Klee is a summer intern with College Works Painting.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Mitch Klee is thinking spring, even though Mother Nature isn’t.
The University of Minnesota Duluth student has been spending his weekends knocking on doors in Superior to offer exterior painting services. Klee is a summer intern with College Works Painting. The California-based company offers internships in 20 different states.
“I’m learning management skills and building my resume while learning real-life lessons,” said Klee, a Chaska, Minn.-native majoring in management information systems.
Although he works under the College Works Painting umbrella, Klee’s business is his own. Once school is out in mid-May, he will be hiring painters, painting homes, organizing payroll and managing customer relations
“It’s a large business with small-business service,” said his district manager, Nick Schroer. College Works Painting is licensed, insured and bonded, he said. According to the company website, paint jobs are guaranteed for up to three years. This is the first year College Works Painting has offered internships in the Twin Ports. Klee’s area is Superior and Douglas County.
The internship doesn’t just build management skills, it offers students a chance to build their resumes.
Klee said his top priority is to work with the customer to make sure the job is done right.
“I want a 100 percent customer satisfaction rate,” Klee said.
First, he wants to set up some free estimates for homeowners. Many people he has contacted have been skeptical because the 20-year-old looks so young. Klee said he has helped with the building, painting and upkeep of his family’s Crosby, Minn.-area cabin for years.
“I’ve been working on houses since I was 6,” he said, and last summer he worked as a sales associate for Home Depot in Chaska.
“I just saw this opportunity and it works perfectly,” Klee said.
College Works Painting is a certified lead-safe contractor, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. That certification is required for any contractor conducting renovation, repairs and painting in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. The certification ensures the contractor knows how to safely work with lead paint.
Lead exposure in young children can cause reduced IQ and attention span, learning disabilities, developmental delays and a range of other health and behavioral effects. Most exposures occur in homes or daycares built before 1978 from chipping and peeling lead-based paint and lead-tainted dust it creates or where lead hazards have been created through renovation done without using lead-safe work practices, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
All contractors doing work in the city of Superior need a city license, according to the Superior Building Inspection office. College Works Painting was not yet licensed by the city as of press time.
Klee is offering free estimates for all exterior painting and staining jobs, including decks and outbuildings. For a free estimate, call 952-738-2239. More information on College Works Painting is available at www.collegeworks.com. More information about preventing lead poisoning is available through the department of health services, www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/lead.