Low-Income Workers Train as Painters


Thousands of public-housing residents who have struggled to find steady work are learning the skills necessary to work as painters, due to a program launched to address a trade shortage.

The Home Work Paint Training Program, launched nine years ago by The Sherwin-Williams Company, trains participants for free in 50 cities across the country. The courses are directed by retired experts and combine classroom and on-the-job training.

The Cleveland, OH-based paint and coatings maker says it has trained 4,230 men and women in 259 sessions nationally.

About 65 percent of those who are trained get hired as painters, according to Sherwin-Williams.

Recent Program in Cleveland, Charleston

The company recently highlighted a Cleveland area program, where 24 economically challenged young men and women and residents of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority completed the program.

“I hope to get a career out of this, actually. That’s what I’m looking for,” Thieann Rembert, a 39-year-old mother of three and graduate of the program, told The Plain Dealer newspaper.

The Cleveland Home Work program painted a public housing complex on Cleveland’s East Side as part of the course, the company said.

Home Work Program

The men and women who participate in the program learn basic painting skills and receive a certificate of completion.

Additionally, the Housing Authority of the City of Charleston, SC, also congratulated 15 recent participants of its Home Work program. The housing authority posted photos of the course on its website here.

Training a Qualified Labor Force

Participants, like Rembert and those in Charleston, learn basic painting skills and receive a certificate of completion to allow them to work on federally funded projects and appeal to professional paint contracting firms, according to the company.

Some even go on to start their own painting businesses.

Moreover, the graduates obtain free training in lead-safe practices and receive an Environmental Protection Agency Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Certificate.

EPA lead safe work

The company offers free training in lead-safe practices to the program participants. They each receive an Environmental Protection Agency Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Certificate.

The program “empowers young people, works with communities to break the cycle of chronic unemployment, teach[es] life skills, and rejuvenate[s] an interest in preserving public spaces,” Sherwin-Williams said.

A Sherwin-Williams official told The Plain Dealer that it plans offer the Home Work Painter Training Program in more than 30 additional cities this year.

Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company manufactures, develops, distributes, and sells coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; Good Technical Practice; Painters; Painting Contractors; Qualification programs; Sherwin-Williams; Worker training

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