WATERLOO â Exceptional Persons, Inc. employees say the organization offers career options for those who enjoy challenges and love their jobs.
âEPI is a service organization that offers support to people with various disabilities as well as child care and services,â explains Nicole Rand. âIt’s a great place to work, where the work is rewarding and where the people make a difference.
Megan Henning is proud of her 18 year tenure at EPI.
âThe work we do every day for the people we support is exceptional,â she says. “I love coming to work and seeing and hearing all the stories of how much we help our community every day.”
The opportunities to serve and have a direct impact on communities make EPI a âgreat and quality employer,â adds Tom Engelbrecht.
âWe are living a very significant mission,â says Engelbrecht. âAdvancement opportunities, competitive salaries, and a leadership team that has the company, our people and the people we serve in mindâ¦ make this a great place to work. “
In 1957, a group of parents formed EPI to coordinate and facilitate the activities of their disabled children.
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âPart of the genius of creating PPE is that mothers and fathers were the instigator,â says Christopher Sparks, Executive Director. âAt that time, there was no support and very little available to them in terms of services for people with disabilities.
There was interest in developing community activity centers for people with disabilities, but no one to coordinate such an initiative.
The parents’ group rallied organizations, local leaders, volunteers and various charities to create activity centers. After the launch of EPI, the organization quickly grew to include a host of additional services and programs.
Today, EPI has 46 sites in 19 counties. These pitches generally accommodate four people each, in a house rented from a local owner.
To ensure that clients are successful in these conditions of independent living, the homes are staffed with professionals from EPI direct support providers, or DSPs.
EPI serves 160 additional customers through its hourly program, offering a variety of options.
Like other proponents, Sparks enjoys his job. With 29 years there, he is only the third Executive Director in EPI’s 63-year history.
âThe field of disability services is very difficult,â he admits. “I tell people why I’m doing it and keep doing it because I can do it at EPI, with people I love, know and trust.”
One of the challenges of EPI is employee retention, especially among DSPs. This is a general concern for all disability service organizations, says Sparks.