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Allbright Paints it SMARTer

Community: Entrepreneur develops program to give back to teenagers who do not have a father figure

Posted: April 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Joshua Abramson, owner of A. Allbright Painting, holds up the first advertisement he created for the first day of his business. This photo of a 19-year-old Abramson was taken by a girlfriend who is now his wife. Abramson said he will use A. Allbright Painting to give work opportunities to young people to repay the time others have invested in hi...

 

Coming from a home with a single mother on welfare, business owner Joshua Abramson of A. Allbright Painting is reaching out with his latest community program to give young people without fathers a chance to learn an employable trade.

Paint It SMART, for “Single Mothers And Responsible Teens,” is a new apprenticeship program for high school and college students, both young men and women, who want to learn a trade but find themselves in a family home without a father to teach them.

The four-week summer program involves in-class and on-the-job training, teaching participants not only different aspects the painting trade, but also skills necessary to get a job.

“I’ve heard it said that I don’t want to forget the shoulders that I stand on,” said Joshua Abramson, president and owner of Allbright. “Others have come alongside me and lifted me on their shoulders. Thinking back to the time they’ve invested in me, I want to offer this to others.”

Apprenticeship
Apprentices will first spend time in the classroom learning about the trade — paint, techniques, choosing the right brushes, roller covers, prepping for a job and A. Allbright’s craftsman’s operating procedures.

The trainees will also learn important work skills, such as going out on interviews and how the hiring process works, including drug and background tests and about team work.

Armed with that knowledge, the students will practice painting at the company’s studio before going out in the field. When on the job site, trainees will be fully supervised for hands-on experience and practice tasks, including prep work, sanding and caulking.

The students will go out with A. Allbright when it paints the SCV Food Bank at the end of the program.

The four-week internship is designed to teach young people an employable trade.

Certification
Each apprentice who finishes the program has to complete A. Allbright’s training book and pass both open- and closed-book tests.

Completing each step of the program involves reading the training material, knowing the information and practicing the skills, showing a specific skill level for a period of time.

Upon completion of the program’s in-class work and on-the-job training, as well as passing the tests, the apprentices are certified.

The apprentices will have learned skills necessary for the trade and be better able to gain employment with a variety of companies — quite possibly full-time employment at A. Allbright Painting, Abramson said.

“If they want to come back and be hired the following year, they’re likely to be hired based on the experience and training,” Abramson said. “We’ll give them consideration over other applicants.”

Applications
Young people interested in learning the professional painting trade need to send Abramson an email explaining why they would like the opportunity to learn this craft.

Applicants need to include their names, contact information, current ages and the names of the schools they’re attending — if they are — in the email.

They should also tell their “family story” and describe accomplishments they’re most proud of, as well as what they like to do in their spare time.

A. Allbright will select and invite the top applicants to a job fair and skills test for final selection May 21.

Local company
While the 23-year-old company employs some 25 people locally, it is also a nationally known firm.

“We won an award for teaching other paint contractors around the nation for how to do Paint it Forward,” Abramson said.

The professional painting company also won top painting awards in 2009 and 2011 with the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America.

In 2011 A. Allbright won in two categories: Residential Interior and Charity Project.

Annually, the company paints about 400 homes and also manages commercial painting projects for many local businesses, including the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

“It’s really nice that we’re recognized nationally, even though we’re a local company and not a national brand,” Abramson said.

From the heart
Abramson struggles to express himself when trying to explain why he’s so driven to give back to the community that he both lives and works in.

Being raised by a single mother on welfare was really tough at times, he said. He was a young boy figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. He felt he lacked the help and guidance of a father.

“I had that sense of being afraid of what the future held, and having to do it on my own with no one to fall back on,” Abramson said.

The business owner today is very grateful for the men who helped and mentored him along the way. Without those men in his life, Abramson said, he wouldn’t have been able to grow his business to be what it is today.

Today, A. Allbright sponsors three charitable programs. Paint It Forward is in its sixth year and awards a free house painting, worth $7,500, to someone in need in the community.

This year, the company painted the home of local Saugus resident Keri Ross. Her husband, Brad, suffered a massive and fatal heart attack May 2010 while playing video games with their 7-year-old son.

The company also introduced its Paint it Pink program last year, donating a portion of the proceeds from various projects to the Circle of Hope, Abramson said.

“Last year, we presented them with over $2,000 of donations,” Abramson said. “We’ll do it again this year.”

This summer will be the first year for A. Allbright’s Paint it SMART program, but Abramson intends to make it an annual event.

“It’s very important for me to give back, to be grateful to those who have invested time in me,” Abramson said. “I feel it’s honoring them.”

A. Allbright Painting and its charitable programs can be reached at www.abpainting.com or by calling (661) 294-1159. Young people interested in applying to join the summer training program should send their information and “family story” information to: josh@aallbright.com.

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