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Every weekend, Kyle Kobza makes the drive out to his hometown of Columbus.

Going door to door, he works to line up customers for this summer. It’s all part of his job for as manager for College Works Painting. The company operates across 35 states, employing college and high school students. Kobza will be managing the company’s crews in the Columbus area. Essentially, he’ll act as a small business owner for the summer, managing a paint crew of about six, along with four marketers.

College Works offers free estimates on any house painting exteriors, interiors, porches and fences. The company also offers a one-year standard guarantee as well as the option for a premium three-year guarantee.

“I think what really sets College Works Painting apart from all the other painting contractors is that we have a really good customer satisfaction rate," Kobza said. "We have a 97-percent customer satisfaction rate while the rest of the industry is 44 percent. So we’re all focused on doing great quality work and not just getting the work done and moving on to the next site.”

Kobza graduated from Scotus Central Catholic High School in 2018. It was last summer he first got involved with College Works Painting working as a painter for college student Seth Stirek, who was the manager for the Columbus area last year. Now it's Kobza's turn to be the boss.

Currently, he's a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in computer engineering. Kobza said his goal after graduating is to secure a good internship and work his way up to a full-time job at a company like Google. He hopes his time at College Works will give him an edge in the job market.

“What I want College Works Painting (to do) for me is something to set me apart from the crowd of people. I’m not planning to be a painter for the rest of my life,” Kobza said. “But what this is for me is the stepping stone into my career. This is something to set me apart from all the other computer engineers who are looking to get a job.”

Austin Lowell manages the Great Plains district in College Works Painting, which is comprised of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. He said, so far, Kobza is one of his best employees, securing the most leads out of anyone in the division up to this point. He said Kobza “ just works his butt off, once he sets his mind to it he’s going to accomplish it.”

Lowell said the internship program gives students a great opportunity to build job skills that look great on a resume.

“It gives them lots of skills that they could apply to any field that they go into,” Lowell said. “The value that this program gives students is the opportunity to improve themselves and do something most people won't do.”

Anyone interested in receiving a free painting estimate or who wants to work for Kobza can call 402-910-7019.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News-Review.

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