“The current economic challenges are definitely a concern, but I hope this will actually increase the need for automotive technicians,” said Garrett Grunwald, a second-year Motive Power Technician student at Loyalist College. “The sale of new cars has dropped which indicates that people are keeping the cars that they currently own for longer periods of time. Those cars will need to be worked on which should translate into more jobs in my field.
“Before coming to Loyalist I took a two-year electronic engineering program and the professors told us repeatedly that the field we should pursue was that of hybrid cars. That’s why I enroled in this program. As an automotive technician with an electrical background, I hope to position myself to work in this aspect of the automotive industry. The faculty at Loyalist is the best. I’ve never had instructors who bring this depth of experience and commitment to a program. When you combine that with the small class sizes and the amazing up-to-date equipment that we have in the shop you couldn’t ask for more. I’ve raved about it so much that some of my friends have applied for this fall.”
Loyalist offers a one-year Motive Power Fundamentals certificate program for Parts and Counter Personnel, and a two-year Motive Power Technician – Service and Management diploma program. Students study small business management and, during the second year, management principles and safe environmental practices. Although this is not an apprenticeship program, the instruction incorporates a large component of the in-class curriculum for an apprenticeship. This makes it possible for graduates who wish to pursue an apprenticeship with an employer to obtain cross-accreditation from their regional apprenticeship office.
“I’ve always been interested in cars,” said Sarah Parsons, an automotive service apprentice at Bay Mazda. Sarah graduated from the Motive Power Technician program at Loyalist in 2007. In addition to the practical experience she is obtaining with her employer as an apprentice, she is required to complete specific blocks of classroom hours. Her in-class studies are at Loyalist.
“I love this field of work,” she added. “The Loyalist professors really prepared me well. We studied many aspects of the industry and as a result could pick the area we wanted to work in. I chose to work as a technician. Others went into parts counter service or sales.”
Stephanie MacDonald is a second year student in the Motive Power Technician program. “I knew nothing about cars when I started this program. No one judged me, or questioned my choice. They gave me guidance and answered all of my questions. My confidence has improved immensely. I love my program and plan to pursue an apprenticeship when I graduate.
Find out more about the Motive Power programs at Loyalist.