(Submitted photo)
(Submitted photo)

VAN WERT - When Crestview graduate Isaac Rager returns to the area this summer to manage a “Student Painters” business in the area, he hopes that it will become a stepping stone to his goal of becoming a manager and running his own business someday.

As a member of an organization known as, “Young Entrepreneurs Across America,” Rager will be managing “Student Painters,” an arm of employment that allows both management and basic work skills to be developed during a summer program.

Rager explained that Young Entrepreneurs Across America is a program designed to help teach young students how to run a small business. Students in the program develop communication and business skills through a summer of real business world experience.

The goal of the program is to provide daily learning from actual experience and to allow those who participate to have the ability and resources to tell an incredible story to any future employer that will set participants apart from others desiring employment.

Rager will actually be hiring other college students to work on a painting crew for the local version of the “Student Painters” program. He has already hired three employees to start training for the project.

Following graduation from Crestview High School in 2011, Rager attended Ohio State University Campus in Lima during his freshman and sophomore years. His junior year, he transferred to the Ohio State University main campus in Columbus to continue to pursue his degree.

Originally, Rager was going to major in accounting and do a minor in economics. However, he recently became intrigued with Sports Industry, a new concept similar to the Sports Management major. “My long term goal is to own my own business,” said Rager. “My dad, Curt Rager, owns Store Haul Trucking, along with his brothers. My older brothers, Daniel and David, have started their own business in Belleview near Sandusky. They have a tank washing business there. My dad helped them get things started up. It runs in the family.”

Rager said that Young Entrepreneurs started in Michigan in 1987. Majoring eventually in sports fitness would be a natural fit for him because he was involved in basketball in high school and continues to work out at a local fitness center. “I just got notice that the secretary of state in South Carolina recognized this organization for its success,” said Rager.

Rager’s summer project will involve exterior painting in and around the Van Wert area, with some work being pursued in Delphos, Rockford, Paulding and Celina.

In addition to their painting project, employees will also be staining outside decks as well.

“When I complete jobs, I will walk around with my paint crew and my owner to see if there is satisfaction with the work,” Rager said. “If he is not satisfied, I will make my employees touch it up until it he is satisfied. Customers report on satisfaction cards.”

Rager said that the organization provides $1 million liability insurance and full worker’s compensation. In addition, EPA certification to employees is provided through Sherwin-Williams Paints. The organization has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Rager noted that the mayor of Greenville, South Carolina has proclaimed April 11 as “Student Painters Day” in that city.

“The biggest thing is that I want to do something different; I don’t want to have a boss,” Rager said. “I want to do my own thing and set my own hours.”