In 1985, Karl Herzog and his brother founded the Motive Action Training Foundation to help disadvantaged young people get into automotive apprenticeship programs.
“Well in my working career I saw a lot of people having challenges, understanding what they needed to do to be successful in the work world so I just felt that it was important to give back to help these people get started in a career,” said Herzog.
Since then hundreds of young men and women have established careers as mechanics, auto body technicians and welders.
Fisnik Devolli took the Motive Action course and has just finished his first year at SAIT where he is training to become a heavy duty mechanic.
Devolli is working at New West Truck Centre as an apprentice and is grateful to Herzog and his staff.
“Before this place it was really difficult to find a job and this place opened up the door for me. They got my foot in the door,” he said.
Students and employers say Motive Action offers a balance of classroom instruction and practical experience.
“Here you have an opportunity to actually work, build yourself up and actually put the knowledge you're learning in practice and getting a good idea of what it's actually gonna be like when you're under pressure in a real shop,” said Justin Bainton.
“It means a lot. It’s getting a younger generation familiar with the basic hand tools and skills they need to work in the automotive or heavy duty industry,” said Nick Depratto.
Bob Modray is chair of the board that oversees the Motive Action Training Foundation and he says Herzog is well connected in the automotive industry..
“It's really important for Motive Action to be connected with the automotive industry, it has something like 200 outfits, companies that he can draw on that he's placed people with and that he can take input from,” he said.
For seeing a need and using his experience to help disadvantaged young people get into the automotive industry, Karl Herzog is our inspiring Albertan this week.
(With files from Darrel Janz)