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One Degree Of Restoration The first graduate of Servpro's new program is ready to clean house.

By Alex Purugganan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a great deal of weight resting on Doug Williams'shoulders these days, but nothing the Servpro franchisee can'thandle. After becoming the first person to complete the cleaningand restoration company's new Career Path Program, Williams nowhas the unenviable task of trying to set the standard for futuregraduates by building his Redding, California, franchise into asuccess. "I can't fail," he says. "I have peoplecounting on me and monitoring how well I do."

Prior to becoming a franchisee, Williams, 32, worked inPortland, Oregon, as an insurance marketing representative forServpro. After five years of learning the franchise system andhelping supply the public with immediate mitigation to propertydamaged by fire and water, he knew operating his own franchise waswhat he truly wanted. The Career Path Program served as the perfectchannel to reaching his goal.

The plan, divided into three categories, offers employees up to$10,000 in credit toward the purchase of their own Servprobusinesses. Potential franchisees can complete 12 home-studycourses at $250 in credit per course, totaling $3,000. They canalso receive $100 in credit for each month of service with thecompany for up to five years. Lastly, employees can earn $250 foreach person they recruit (a maximum of four people) who completesat least one year of the same program. Williams explains,"[The plan] is very intense, but the end results are extremelyworthwhile. It's also great fun."

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