By Jim Timlick
Since its very beginnings, Epic Opportunities has invested considerable time and effort in providing staff with the training and tools they require to most effectively serve the people we support.
Those efforts recently received a tremendous boost from one of our longtime corporate partners. This past May, Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU) provided our agency with a $5,000 grant through its Community Grants Program. The funding was used to help furnish a multi-purpose training space in our new head office location at 200-1600 Ness Ave. in St. James.
Director of Human Resources Kristin Knockaert says the ACU grant will have a huge impact on Epic Opportunities’ ongoing efforts to invest in human capital.
“The benefit of receiving a Community Grant from ACU is that it allows us to further invest in our employees to prepare them to assist the men and women we serve to live full participating lives and pursue their dreams and goals and build connections with others in the community,” she says.
“Receiving the grant has allowed us to fully furnish the space as we had limited resources to do so. That in turn will allow us to run larger sessions for our employees, invite others in and engage new creative learning opportunities. We are grateful to ACU and their continued support for Epic Opportunities.”
The training space has been in use since Epic Opportunities moved into its new Ness Avenue location this past February. With the ACU grant, Epic Opportunities was able to furnish the area with learning stations, shelving, storage space and equipment for the kitchen area.
With the flexibility the new training space and furnishings provide, Knockaert says Epic Opportunities will no longer have to rent space at other venues for larger training sessions. It will also allow for additional training sessions and could be used to host training opportunities for other groups such as service organizations, partner agencies, members and people served by Epic Opportunities.
ACU focuses on three areas of impact through its Community Grant Program: community inclusion, environmental sustainability and social enterprise development. Epic Opportunities was chosen in the community inclusion category. All grant applications are reviewed by a committee of ACU employees who select the grant recipients.
ACU President and CEO Kevin Sitka says Epic Opportunities is a great fit with Assiniboine Credit Union and its the Community Grant Program.
“ACU’s vision is a sustainable future for all, and Epic Opportunities makes such an important difference in the lives of many individuals and their families here in our communities. When we are able to make a contribution toward their mission, and in this case the space they require to strengthen their ability to do their work, we make an investment in the impact they are able to create every single day.
This isn’t the first time Epic Opportunities has teamed-up with ACU. ACU has been one of the major sponsors of the An Evening With Epic fundraiser for the Epic Opportunities Foundation for the past several years. ACU also employs a woman served through our Epic Everyday and Epic Transitions services at the credit union’s head office on Main Street.
“ACU is really committed to supporting community organizations like ours to strengthen our ability to empower people to live, learn, work and enjoy life in the community and for that we are extremely grateful,” Knockaert says.