Success stories

Richard Cork

January – June 2014
Automotive Service Technician

Richard was born in British Columbia but moved to Calgary as a young child. He completed high school at Discovering Choices. When Richard applied to Motive Action in 2014 he was single, unemployed and sharing accommodation with his sibling.

Richard had been employed in short-term positions in retail and also as casual labour, framing houses. The work was inconsistent, weather –dependent, and didn’t allow for any stability in his life.

Having successfully completed the 6-month program at Motive Action, Richard was employed at a shop in the city. In August 2016, Richard started his first year apprenticeship course at SAIT and is now working as a second year apprentice.

When Richard was asked how the trades had affected his life, he said:

“My life has changed for the best. Not only is the money good but my way of life is great. I now have a family to take care of and I couldn’t be happier. I feel that Motive Action turned my life around!”

John Mirzajanilatif

October 2014 – April 2015
Heavy Equipment Technician

John had been working as a forklift driver for several years but was laid off. Instead of seeing his situation negatively, John saw it as an opportunity to find training so that he could develop a career. Working as a forklift driver had limited opportunities to advance in terms of skills or finances.

Having applied for entry-level positions at shops around the city, John realised that he needed work experience. He signed -up with MA because he knew he would receive hands-on skills and work experience.

When John finished the program at Motive Action in April 2015, he was hired full-time as an entry-level, Heavy Equipment Technician. He has changed employers since that time but has now been signed up for an apprenticeship. He will attend the 1st year apprenticeship program at SAIT starting in October 2016.

John says: “Since completing the program at Motive Action, I feel more motivated to go to work as I no longer have a job but a career. The support and connections I have made since beginning in the trade far exceed my expectations…I have been able to continue developing my personal life such as buying a new vehicle and investing in a home.”

Aikeens Balbin

July 2014
Automotive Service Technician

Aikeens was born in the Philippines and came to Canada as a 15 year old youth. He completed Grade 12 at a high school in Calgary and worked part-time at a fast food restaurant. Aikeens has an uncle who is a journeyman mechanic. Aikeens enjoyed watching his uncle work and decided that he also wanted to train as an Automotive Service Technician. However, when he applied to dealerships and shops he was told that he did not have enough experience to be taken on.

Aikeens said that he enrolled at Motive Action in July 2014 as he knew that it would give him good training and an opportunity for employment. He would learn more about tools and how to use them properly.

When Aikeens completed his time in the program, he was taken on full-time by Sunshine Auto Repair, the same employer with whom he had completed his work experience.

Aikeens was signed up for the Automotive Service Technician apprenticeship and will start his first year classes in the Fall of 2016. Aikeen was asked about his experience at Motive Action and said, “it has given me the opportunity to earn money, to work in a full-time job and to work with people who share the same passion.”

Elyse Dumka

June 2015

Elyse had been working a variety of retail and office jobs but knew that this was not what she wanted to do. She was increasingly frustrated as she was also unable to afford to upgrade which would have widened her job opportunities.

Elyse knew that she wanted to work with her hands and enjoyed using tools in hobbies she pursued and so she tried contacting dealerships and shops for entry-level work with no success. She had even applied for receptionist work in dealerships in order to get a foot-in-the-door but again, had not been successful.

After Elyse completed her 6-months at Motive Action in December 2015, she was taken on full-time at Superior Power Products in the Heavy Equipment field. She will be attending SAIT at the end of August, 2016 for her first year of the Heavy Equipment Tech apprenticeship.

Elyse said: “My life has been transformed by my success in the trades. I am no longer stressed out by my working situation and can afford that emotional energy towards hobbies, skills and expanding my knowledge through reading. I have been saving for a house and if I stick to my plan, I will be a homeowner by 30! None of this would have been possible otherwise.”

Nickki Hupper

April 2015
Automotive Service Technician

Nickki did not complete Grade 12 and had a number of labour cash jobs and worked as a meal server in a senior’s home. She knew that she was interested in car mechanics as she did some basic maintenance on her own vehicle, but when she applied for mechanic helper positions in shops she was not taken seriously.

Nickki attended Motive Action from April 2015. She successfully completed the program, and got taken on as a full-time employee at “Our Mechanics” where she had been placed for work experience.

Recently she came back to Motive Action to visit and said: “This program really works!  It worked for me. I listened to everything – gave it my all and now I am a registered apprentice!  I got my blue book in less than a year and will be going to SAIT in early 2017. Thank you guys, so much. I couldn’t have done it without you. This place changed my life. Keep at it!”

Liam Tate  

June – November 2015  
Automotive Service Technician

Liam graduated from Springbank High School in 2013 and took 1 year of a Business Administration diploma at SAIT before deciding that he was more interested in the hands-on skills of mechanics rather than the business side of the trade.

During this time Liam was also working part-time in a restaurant and in retail where he was earning minimum wage. They were short-term positions with no chance of progression. He applied for mechanic’s helper positions but was told that he would need more experience.

Liam heard about Motive Action and thought it was a good way to get some knowledge and much needed work experience in the trades. He successfully completed the program and then found full-time work in the shop at Canadian Linen.

Liam has signed up for his first year Automotive Service Technician exams at SAIT in the Fall of 2016. He says: “I have a great, steady job that I love, doing what I love. People look at me differently in the trade because they know I took the program.”

The scholarship will allow Liam to focus on his training taking away some of the financial stress while attending school for two months.

Hyunsu Kim

February – July 2015
Welder

Kim came to Canada from South Korea in 2011.  He had worked as a salesman in South Korea having studied Management and  had also completed military service.

When Kim first came to Canada he lived in Manitoba and worked for 18 months as a kitchen helper making $13.50 per hour and with no future to develop a career.  Kim moved to Calgary with his wife in October 2014 but was unable to find employment even though he sent out many resumes and attended some interviews. He found that his level of English and limited work experience in Canada made it hard for him to find sustainable employment.

Kim was referred to Motive Action by Immigrant Services. He excelled as a welding student and it was quickly clear that he had great potential in this trade.  When Kim finished the program at Motive Action, he immediately gained full-time employment with Startec where he started as a welder and then moved to pipefitting, making $18.25 per hour at the entry-level.

Kim was signed up for the apprenticeship and attended his  1st year program at SAIT in January  and February of 2016..  He passed his course with the second highest score in his group.  Unfortunately, owing to the continued downturn in the economy, Kim was laid off.  However, as a 2nd year apprentice and with his training and work experience, Kim feels optimistic that he will be able to find a good position as a pipe-fitter as soon as the economy improves.

Mussawir Ahmad  

March 2015 – August 2015
Automotive Service Technician

Mussawir came to Canada from Pakistan in 2013. His first jobs were survival jobs as a meat-cutter, a labourer in construction and as a delivery driver. Before coming to Motive Action, Mussawir was driving a taxi and attending a part-time Math upgrading course at SAIT. After paying expenses he was making $12 an hour with no chance of career development.

By this time, Mussawir had a young family and needed to provide for them. He unsuccessfully approached a number of shops because he was interested in starting to train as an Automotive Service Technician. One of the shops he approached mentioned Motive Action as a good way to get a “foot-in-the-door” in the trade.

Mussawir says, “Motive Action equipped me with the basic knowledge and skills to enter the trade I wanted. I have a stable job and a happy life because of Motive Action.”

Juan de Dios Alcudia

April 2014

Juan moved to Canada from Mexico in 2007. He moved from entry-level job to entry-level job and was not able to find sustainable employment to support his family.

Juan was unemployed and receiving EI when he heard about Motive Action. He knew that he needed to study and improve on his skills but had been unable to do so because of his financial situation.

Motive Action provided Juan with the opportunity to review his math and English skills as well as learn some occupational skills and gain work experience in the Heavy Equipment trade.

On completing his 6 months at Motive Action, Juan was employed full-time by Trailer Wizard Ltd where he continues to work today. He will be attending his first year Heavy Equipment (Transport-Trailer) apprenticeship classes at SAIT in the Fall of 2016.

Juan says, “I think it was the best decision to study a trade. The school gave me the great opportunity to realize this dream and to provide a better quality of life for my family.”

Pat Hansen

January – June 2014
Auto Body Technician

Pat worked for a landscaper, in retail and then had found a job building bikes for Canadian Tire but it was a job that had no future. During his time at Canadian Tire, he had applied for several positions in the Auto Body trade but was unsuccessful.

Pat decided that he needed a change and looked for a way to make that happen. He heard good reviews about Motive Action and was accepted onto the program.

Pat says: “I went from hopping job to job in fields I had no interest in, to working in a field of work I like.”

Pat has been signed up for the apprenticeship and has registered for the Fall 2016, AutoBody Prepper session at SAIT. Pat will use his scholarship to buy some tools and to help with living expenses while he is at SAIT, so that he can focus on his studies.

He said: “I have never had a scholarship so it’s great to see my hard work pay off as I learn in the trades.”

Nickel McLarty

May 2014 – October 2014
Heavy Equipment Technician 

Nickel came to Canada from Jamaica in 2012.  He had completed high school in Jamaica but was only able to find low-skilled, temporary employment when he first arrived.  He worked in the kitchen at Boston Pizza part-time for $13 an hour and then worked in a seasonal position at a chemical plant.  Although the hourly pay was better at the chemical plant ($23 per hour) Nickel was only able to work during the winter months and was then laid off over the summer months.  There was also little opportunity for career development.

Nickel has a passion for cars and enjoyed working on his own vehicle but had been unsuccessful when he applied for helpers positions at dealerships and shops.  Motive Action provided Nickel with the hands-on skills he needed to start a career and also employment opportunities at the end of the program.

When Nickel finished his training in October 2014, he was taken on full-time at Calgary Brake and Suspension, earning $16 per hour. He was also signed up for the Heavy Equipment Technician apprenticeship program and will attend his first year classes at SAIT starting April 25th, 2016.

Nickel says that he now has many more employment opportunities having been through the program at Motive Action. He says that he is able to talk with pride about his employment, his career and his future.

Gerardo Gonzalez

Oct 2014 – Mar 2015
Heavy Equipment Technician

Gerardo came to Canada from Venezuela in 2007.  In Venezuela he had completed high school, some university and had some experience working on trucks during his time in military service.

After moving from Ontario where he worked for a time in autoparts, Gerardo was only able to find part-time seasonal labour jobs, earning $12 per hour and there was no way for him to grow professionally or make more money. After the training and work experience at Motive Action, Gerardo is working 45 hours a week and earning $18 per hour. He plans to continue to grow professionally and has been signed up as an apprentice by his employer Rift Valley Trucks Ltd. He is attending SAIT for his first year apprenticeship course from February – April 2016.

Gerardo took the program at Motive Action because the program gave him an opportunity to gain hands-on skills, an opportunity to get work experience that he would not haven been able to access without the program and to find a job with a future.

In his new position Gerardo says that he learns every day and can see his ultimate goal – of becoming a journey man Heavy Equipment Technician - getting closer every day.

Gerardo says that his life has improved in all ways, intellectually, economically and professionally.

Andrea Taplin

December 2013 – May 2014
Welder

Before coming to Motive Action, Andrea had been working inconsistently in low -skilled jobs, seasonal jobs, landscaping and working in camp kitchens. Andrea applied to Motive Action because she wanted to start in a career with a future.  She wanted to learn about tools and gain some basic welding skills and get a foot-in-the-door with an employer.

On graduating from Motive Action in May 2014, Andrea gained full-time employment as a welder with Custom Park and Leisure.  She was signed up as an apprentice in August 2014, passed her 1st year exams and is currently a 2nd year apprentice.

Since completing the program at Motive Action, Andrea says that she noticed that she is more focused and goal-oriented and has found that her goals are now achievable.  She feels satisfied that she has direction in her life and meaningful employment.

Yandong Zhu

August 2014 – Feb 2015
Welder

Yandong came to Canada from China in 2009. He had some informal experience as a pipefitter’s helper in China.  Before coming to Motive Action, Yandong attended Bow Valley College part-time to work on his English.  He was also working in a grocery store, part-time and earning $11/hr.

Yandong attended Motive Action to gain some occupational skills that are needed in the workplace and to get some work experience that he was not able to access before completing the training at Motive Action.

On completion of the program, Yandong was hired by Moli Industries.  He is working full-time and earning $20 per hour.  He was signed up as an apprentice in late 2015 and is currently attending his 1st year welding program at SAIT. He says that he has learned welding skills and standards and the success has given him more confidence in his life.