High School alumnus looks at starting a paint job

Staff Writer
Minnesota State University Mankato freshman and Upsala High School alumnus Ethan McCoy is getting ready to launch his painting business through College Works Painting. McCoy and his crews begin work this spring.
Minnesota State University Mankato freshman and Upsala High School alumnus Ethan McCoy is getting ready to launch his painting business through College Works Painting. McCoy and his crews begin work this spring.

For a business major, there’s likely no better experience than running their own business. Ethan McCoy, a freshman at Minnesota State University Mankato and Upsala High School graduate, is getting that opportunity, while his customers get someone to paint their buildings.

McCoy recently became a branch manager for College Works Painting, a company that hires top business students to run branches around the country.

“It’s an awesome opportunity. I’m so incredibly lucky to have gotten into this,” McCoy said.

He is part of the Northstar Division of the company, composed of businesses in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Despite being the smallest division, McCoy said this one contributes the most to the company.

“It tells a lot about people up north, how dedicated we are in putting in the time and effort,” McCoy said.

At the end of January, McCoy joined other business members at a hotel in the Twin Cities to learn about running their own business.

Other than accounting and legal issues, which are handled by an office in the Twin Cities, McCoy said he will be in charge of all aspects of his business.

As branch manager, McCoy will be responsible for lining up work, hiring and paying employees and getting the job done.

Already, McCoy said he’s learned a lot about the painting business from the benefits of doing prep work like pressure washing the surface to ensuring everyone involved is safe from lead paint.

“Houses that were built before 1978, we have to consider that they have lead paint,” McCoy said.

If that’s the case, he and his crew have masks to keep themselves safe and that they scrape the paint gently onto tarps to keep the community safe.

“We make sure everyone is safe. Our standards are top-notch,” McCoy said.

He said he is currently trying to find  10 – 12 employees, including some seniors from Upsala High School and Little Falls Community High School.

McCoy said if this is successful, it will be something that will be with him for the rest of his life.

“I’m going to carry it with me for the rest of my life that I ran my own business successfully,” McCoy said.

In addition to employees, McCoy is also looking for customers.

Those with questions about his business can reach him at (320) 360-1600.

McCoy said he plans to start painting early this spring following college.