Auto Service World
Feature   January 19, 2011   by CARS Magazine

Training Technicians

Calgary-based Motive-Action, an organization that teaches unemployed youth and adults the personal and professional skills required to succeed in the workplace, recently celebrated its 25 anniversary at a gala event. And there was much to celebrate.
Indeed, the not-for-profit Motive-Action is a unique organization. Co-founded in 1985 by its executive director, Karl Herzog, Herzog and his brother, Michael, observed that numerous young people wanted to work in the automotive industry but couldn’t get or keep a job. Thus, the Brothers Herzog decided to set up a skills-training program as a means of rendering assistance.

Some 25years later, Motive-Action continues to provide auto repair, auto body and heavy-duty mechanical training for youths and new Canadians who face barriers to meaningful employment. In addition to workplace automotive skills training, clients receive upgrading in language and interpersonal skills.

Instructor John Johnson notes that more than 75% of students have graduated from Motive-Action’s 24-week pre-apprenticeship program. Since the organization’s inception, more than 1,000 students have successfully completed this program and have gone on to become skilled labourers in the automotive industry.


The success rate is thanks in part to the efforts of the Calgary Motor Vehicle Dealers Association (CMVDA). Automotive dealers have played a key role in sustaining the program given that many dealerships take students for the practicum portion of their programs. Students are often hired when they graduate and many then enter journeymen programs with the dealers.

At the anniversary galas, a number of alumni spoke about the dramatic impact Motive-Action has had on their lives, creating opportunities for them to be employed in a field they cherish.

More information (as well as several Motive-Action success stories) can be accessed at the organization’s website,

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