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Epic Opportunities was recently recognized for its contributions to the advancement of highly skilled newcomers in Manitoba and for being an advocate for newcomer employment and inclusion.

On May 18, Epic Opportunities received a Legacy Award for Excellence at the 3rd Annual Manitoba Start Employer Awards luncheon. The award recognizes a distinguished organization that has strategically embedded processes which value the skills that internationally trained workers add to their business through demonstrated excellence. Organizations must have been a partner with Manitoba Start for at least five years to be eligible for the award.

This marks the second year in a row Epic Opportunities has been recognized by Manitoba Start, a not-for-profit organization that provides career development services for newcomers to the province which has served more than 30,000 new immigrants to Manitoba since 2010. Epic Opportunities was one of the recipients of the organization’s Employment Partner of the Year awards in 2016.

Epic Opportunities Human Resources Generalist Chantal Dionne says the latest award is a huge honour for the agency and its mission to provide holistic, person-centred supports to people with intellectual disabilities.

“It shows we have been committed to growing our talent pool of staff with people who are internationally educated and trained and can bring these transferrable skills to our organization and to the field of community living,” she says.

Dionne says receiving such a prestigious honour reaffirms the agency’s strong vision, mission and values and will also help with efforts to boost its public profile.

“I think it’s huge to get that kind of exposure about the kind of work that we do at Epic Opportunities,” she adds.

Epic Opportunities has been partnered with Manitoba Start since 2011. It hired a total of 63 employees through the government-funded agency during the past six years and that number has continued to climb in 2017.

As part of that partnership, Epic Opportunities participates in a handful of employer cafes with Manitoba Start each year. The day-long cafes are an opportunity for employers to share information about their organizations with newcomers and conduct interviews with them. The agency also regularly participates in industry insight sessions, which serve as informal ‘getting to know you’ meetings with prospective employees.

In addition, Epic Opportunities is a strong supporter of Manitoba Start’s Work Starts program. The eight-week program offers individuals an opportunity to work with Epic Opportunities staff and receive valuable on-the-job training in a variety of settings. All of the people who have taken part in the program with Epic since 2015 have ended up being hired by the agency.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for the people involved. It’s a chance for them to get to know us and see if we are a good fit for them and if they want to be part of Epic,” Dionne adds. “The ultimate goal is to have that person work for us at the end of Work Starts. We want it to be win-win for us and Manitoba Start.”

Dionne says one of the main reasons why the two organizations have enjoyed such a strong working relationship is the fact that they share many of the same values. Both are people-centric and make every effort to promote inclusiveness, she says.

“We’ve worked very hard to understand what each other’s goals are and what each organization’s culture is all about.”

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