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Epic thanks the City of Northfield
Submitted by David Gonnerman on Fri, 03/01/2013 - 4:05pm
A recent Northfield City Council meeting included a presentation by the Dundas-based nonprofit Epic Enterprise Inc. The organization thanked the city for eight years of employing work crews made up of Epic's developmentally disabled clients.
"Hiring people with disabilities is not charity," said Kathy Topp, community employment liaison at Epic, during the presentation. "Bringing them into the City of Northfield is an exemplary act that models corporate and civic responsibility."
Accompanying Topp were Epic crew members Ken Brockton and Brian Zimmerman, plus long-term substitute Bill Sorbel, Job Coach Mari Soregetz, and Linda Hibbard, executive director of Epic. The three crewmembers presented Mayor Dan Graham with a certificate recognizing the city for eight years of cooperation with Epic.
The Epic crew currently employed by the city works at the Ice Arena, the Maintenance Facility, the Northfield Community Resource Center, in parks, and at the Wastewater Department. The city crew — consisting of three carefully selected Epic clients plus a job coach — is just one of the many Epic crews that work at some 40 sites around the county.
Topp thanked city department managers who have employed Epic crews, including Waste Water Manager Jerry Ness, Facilities Supervisor Bernie Shakel, Recreation Manager Alison Watkins, and Streets and Parks Supervisor TJ Heinricy. She also singled out Elizabeth Wheeler, the city's retiring human resources director, for a special note of appreciation. "We appreciate your recognition of the importance of including adults with disabilities in the workplace," Topp told Wheeler. "Thank you for your positive influence and progressive thinking."
Some companies and organizations might have concerns about hiring people with disabilities, noted Topp. But once an Epic crew is hired, she added, those concerns are usually dispelled the crew's attitude and work ethic. Topp shared a quote from Judy Bickel, program director at the Community Action Center: "The Epic crew is so friendly and takes such pride in their work. The halls have never been cleaner. They have incredible energy and really do make a difference."
Read more about this presentation on Northfield's League of Women Voters blog ...