When Juan and Edgar founded Casa Pintura | Precision Painting in 2016, they knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey. They needed to earn more money and find opportunities for professional and personal advancement other painting companies were not offering them. Juan began his journey in the painting trade as a subcontractor, earning $10.00/hr. With time and dedication, his wages increased to a little more than $12.00/hr.
“As a single parent, I had to work 70 hours a week to make ends meet,” Juan recalls. “After marrying in 2011 and completing my immigration process a few years later, I decided to return to painting. I enjoyed it and was becoming quite skilled at it,” Juan shares. “I was offered $14.00/hr with benefits, but the high health insurance premiums meant my take-home pay hadn’t increased and didn’t reflect my growing skills.”
Edgar adds, “Before Casa Pintura, I had to juggle two jobs to make ends meet. There are still times I work more than I want to, but my income has increased and owning my own business has opened up doors for increased growth.”
Both Juan and Edgar came to the United States seeking opportunities that were limited in Mexico including education and career advancement. “In Mexico, public education is free but we had to pay for uniforms, supplies, and books and that was financially difficult for our families. The quality of education and the ability to access it are also not the same. Unfortunately, many children in Mexico may complete elementary classes and not attend middle or high school,” explains Edgar.
“I didn’t graduate high school. Instead, I started working at 11 to provide food for my family,” shared Juan. “I stopped attending school altogether a few years later. I even faced pressure to join a gang and considered selling drugs to make more money. My mom held multiple jobs and still managed to keep me away from that life.”
A Representation of the American Dream
Juan’s wife, Jodie, sees Casa Pintura’s story as representative of the American dream – a pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
“Wanting a better life is the same dream that compelled my ancestors to emigrate from the Netherlands to the United States of America, but there are major differences between our ancestor’s journeys,” Jodie shares. “The work and mission of Casa Pintura – the reasons why Edgar and Juan founded their own painting company – are indicative of the need to address inequities found in training and pay in today’s construction marketplace, especially for minority owned business owners and immigrants.”
Jodie further explains, “When I met Juan and saw how hard he was working compared to how little he was earning, it made me angry. He was and is incredibly dedicated, oftentimes providing rides for other workers and helping to train them in Spanish. Like most, I’ve heard the debates about immigration and could visibly see construction workers who I assumed were immigrants building the houses and buildings around me. Yet, I was able to remain completely unaware of the many challenges they faced, including low wages. Now that I know, I’m faced with a decision – what am I going to do about it?”
Jodie’s involvement with Casa Pintura has been multifaceted – from marketing to resource connection, and most recently, in establishing the Painting Academy, a non-profit apprenticeship training initiative. “Juan and Edgar have worked with many crew members and they usually claim to be experienced, but we quickly find out they need additional skill development and support,” Jodie notes. “We just received approval for our Department of Labor-certified Painting Apprenticeship program. This program focuses on skill advancement within a proven apprenticeship model. We’re especially excited about offering support for English as a second language learners, including those who speak Spanish as their first language.”
At Casa Pintura | Precision Painting, our mission is to provide economic and personal growth opportunities for our team members and become the preferred painting company of higher-end designers, remodelers, and contractors.
What’s Next for Casa Pintura | Precision Painting and the Painting Academy
Looking forward, Casa Pintura aims to:
- Continue to provide exceptional service for existing clients while building new partnerships with clients who are also committed to high quality work and valuing every team member. Request an estimate!
- Strengthen our strategic partnerships with minority owned business champions committed to the success of Casa Pintura and so many others in our community. Read more about our Community Champions.
- Build our crews with the best painters and provide opportunities for new painters. Now that our apprenticeship program is certified we can open it up to less experienced painters providing an opportunity we were not given – to learn this trade within a proven, supportive apprenticeship training model with ESL support. View job opportunities at Casa Pintura.
Edgar explains, “We’re partnering with experienced, highly skilled painters and those looking to enter the painting trades who may be immigrants like ourselves who speak English as their second language and they need to find an employer who will invest in them. We are committed to training and providing our crew members as many opportunities to grow their skills and experience more success in both their professional careers and personal lives as we can.”
Juan and Edgar believe Casa Pintura | Precision Painting is the best choice for homeowners, builders, designers and contractors looking for exceptional service and high quality panting because they’re also investing in a minority owned company committed to their crew members and making important changes in the construction industry for the betterment of all.