Citing a shortage of qualified painters, The Sherwin-Williams Company will offer free training to about 20 people to become professional painters as part of its Home-Work Paint Training Program.
The program will send instructors to Bowling Green, Ky., for a two-week paint training session later this spring. This is the sixth year for the program, which started as an idea to gain more Sherwin-Williams employees.
Sessions are held in 38 cities each year; usually, cities that request the program are the ones that get it, said Al Blanchard, director of the program.
"It's a known fact that baby boomers aren't going to do much more painting," Blanchard said. "And it's hard finding qualified painters."
About 70 percent of those who are trained get hired as painters, Blanchard said.
Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker requested the program for her city after viewing a presentation by the company’s CEO. Coupled with the town’s small business development programs, the training offers residents an opportunity to start their own businesses, she said.
During the sessions, residents will paint a house the Housing Authority of Bowling Green is renovating, Walker said.
The program could serve as a boon to the local economy, which has been hammered with unemployment along with the national economy, Walker said.
"When you look at the economy overall, they say small businesses employ more people," she said. "If you can start a small business and it's successful, that's terrific."
The battered economy also might create a bigger demand for painters as more people hold onto their homes and need to paint them, Walker said.