Epic Opportunities has once again teamed up with Red River College as part of a cooperative advertising campaign that celebrates the success of the school’s alumni and the organizations that hire them.
This year’s RRC Grads Get Hired billboard campaign will feature more than 40 Red River alumni including Kaitlyn Bonnefoy, a Direct Support Worker at Epic Opportunities’ 250 Goulet St. day service location. Bonnefoy is a 2014 graduate of the college’s Disability and Community Support program.
The campaign was launched in early April and will continue until late May with the billboards located at various sites throughout the city. The billboard featuring Bonnefoy and Epic Opportunities is located on Portage Avenue near School Road.
This is the second straight year Epic Opportunities has been invited to participate in the program. Sandy Kauenhofen, a Disability and Community Support Co-ordinator, represented Epic in last year’s campaign.
Kristin Oswald, Human Resources Coordinator with Epic, says the campaign is a tremendous opportunity for the organization to increase its visibility and inform members of the community about the supports it provides to people with intellectual disabilities. It’s also a great way for Epic Opportunities to recognize the outstanding contributions made by its employees, she adds.
Oswald says Epic received quite a bit of positive feedback regarding its involvement in last year’s RRC campaign.
“A lot of people told us it was nice to see Epic have that kind of presence in the community,” she says.
Oswald says Bonnefoy has already made a significant impact during her tenure with Epic and was a great choice to represent the organization as part of the RRC campaign.
“She has come in and really made herself a part of the team and worked toward achieving some common goals. She’s been very positive and has really connected with the people we provide service to,” Oswald says. “Her personality and character really model the Epic values and what we expect from our employees.”
Bonnefoy says she was flattered to be asked to represent Epic Opportunities, although she admits to feeling a little nervous about being in the spotlight.
“I hope that my involvement in the campaign shows people that this kind of work can be a career,” she says. “A lot of people view direct support work as a stepping stone…but hopefully people see that this is a career and can be a long-term (option).”
Bonnefoy was inspired to get involved in the community living sector by her mom, who has spent most of her career working with people with special needs. “When you grow up in that environment it’s just a natural (fit).”
Christian Robin, Director of Marketing and Web Presence for RRC, says college officials are delighted Epic Opportunities is once again part of the Grads Get Hired campaign as its philosophy of inclusion fits well with the school’s mandate to be accessible to all Manitobans.
Robin says Epic Opportunities’ involvement is also a great opportunity to promote RRC’s Disability and Community Support two-year diploma program, which provides training to support and enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities.
RRC officials were extremely pleased by the level of interest in this year’s campaign following last year’s “trial run,” Robin adds. Nearly 100 groups, including both private companies and non-profits, expressed an interest in being part of it after it was opened up to all employers this year. The only stipulation was that they had to have employed at least one RRC grad in the past and their values align with the college’s.
Robin says the beauty of the campaign is that it helps increase public awareness of both the college and its partners. However, he stresses it is far more than just a promotional exercise.
“It’s not just about the billboards, it’s also about the story behind the people,” he says. “We as a college believe in our students and our graduates and the stories behind them. That’s what we are all about. It’s not just about a number, it’s about the individual.”