5 Facts You Should Know About Epilepsy

2016-NEAM-OG-Twitter-Card

 

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease in the U.S., yet it remains misunderstood by many. Below are five facts everyone should know about epilepsy.

 

  1. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior. It is diagnosed when a person has two or more seizures that cannot be attributed to another condition.

 

  1. Often times, the cause of these seizures is unknown.

The four most common causes of epilepsy are head trauma, stroke, brain tumor, and brain infection. However, the cause of epilepsy is unknown in about 70 percent of cases.

 

  1. Epilepsy can occur at any age.

It is most common, however, in children and older adults.

 

  1. Seizure symptoms can vary widely.

Since epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain, seizures can affect any process the brain coordinates. This means that symptoms can appear in a variety of different ways. However, most people with epilepsy tend to have the same type of seizure every time.

 

979d7ea52227c9b407867ea6bbd7316aThese symptoms include temporary confusion, staring spells, uncontrollable jerking movements, loss of consciousness or awareness, hallucinations, speech impairment, or psychiatric symptoms such as fear, anxiety or déjà vu.

 

  1. Approximately three million Americans have epilepsy.

One in 26 people in the U.S. will develop epilepsy in their lifetime.

 

EPI-HAB Supports Individuals Living with Epilepsy and its Many Challenges

At EPI-HAB, we provide meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy. Typical work focuses on hand labor skills, and employees are paid at or above minimum wage with flexible hours.

epi2-1024x684Our 501(c) 3 organization is unique in that we do not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise, nor do we conduct fundraisers. EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business.

Alongside our organization’s own efforts to increase the quality of life for Arizonans living with epilepsy, we donate excess profits to charities like the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona to advance the study of the disorder.

For more information about EPI-HAB, visit www.epihab.org.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20350093

https://www.aesnet.org/for_patients/facts_figures#Two

https://www.efepa.org/get-involved/neam/

EPI-HAB Supports Disabled Adults by Participating in Lura Turner Homes Golf Tournament

In September, EPI-HAB Phoenix Inc., a non-profit/501(c) 3 organization, sponsored a foursome (three customers and EPI-HAB’s Executive Director) to compete in The 21st Annual Lura Turner Homes Golf Tournament.

All proceeds from the golf tournament benefit the Lura Turner Homes’ mission: to house and care for adults living with developmental disabilities in Phoenix. Founded in 1965, Lura Turner Homes provides adults with disabilities a safe, enriching and loving environment. The organization emphasizes a family-like atmosphere, encourages the development of a strong, positive work ethic, and offers recreational and cultural activities and community involvement opportunities.

“Participating in the tournament is a way to invest in our community’s network of non-profits, a way to ‘thank’ our customers and a way to support Lura Turner Homes specifically, who on occasion, has provided us with employees,” summarized Matt Redmann, EPI-HAB’s Executive Director.

EPI-HAB was proud to tee off alongside three of our customers/community partners, Johnny Mitchell of The Bra Recyclers, Omar Hankton of Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Stephen Thomson of Vinotive-Innovative Wine Products.  Matt Redmann hosted the foursome.

22254683_1564488600240423_1766623113126882420_o

About EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.

EPI-HAB is a totally self-sufficient, not-for-profit company focused on providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.  We achieve this primarily through our hand labor services. EPI-HAB is unique in that we do not solicit donations or charitable contributions.  We do not receive any grants – government or otherwise, and we do not hold fundraisers.  We operate and compete, for the most part, as a for-profit business, donating excess profits to local charities.

EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting with a wide range of affordable hand labor and other business solutions, like bulk mailings,  inspection and cleaningcustom packagingstorage and order fulfillment. For example:

– EPI-HAB assists The Bra Recyclers with the collection and sorting of gently–used bras which are redistributed to needy recipients, both domestically and internationally.

thumbnail_IMG_0178

– EPI-HAB supports Maricopa County Department of Public Health by receiving/storing and then fulfilling orders for a vast array of health and safety items used by our county’s educational system.

– EPI-HAB helps Vinotive by receiving, storing and order fulfillment for its wide variety of innovative wine-related products. We also perform some assembly and inspection services as needed.

From simple hand labor to complex assembly, EPI-HAB can do it all! Are you wondering how EPI-HAB can help your company? Check out this short video summary hosted by Matt Redmann.

EPI-HAB Supports Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona, Attends Gala

download (27)

Staying true to our organization’s values, EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. recently sponsored a table at the Waves of Change for Epilepsy Gala. Four board members and their guests as well as EPI-HAB controller Torrey Rogers and his guest represented our organization’s commitment to the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona.

The Great Gatsby-themed event took place at the Mountain Shadows Resort with the goal of raising money to support epilepsy education, awareness and advocacy through the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona. The gala also featured a presentation from Stacia Kalinoski, an Emmy award-winning video journalist and creator of “Brainstorm,” a documentary telling the stories of three individuals battling epilepsy.

c2

“The room was energized with lots of swanky dressed guests, the presenters were well prepared, and Stacia Kalinoski told a compelling story about her experience with epilepsy,” said Rogers. “What I enjoyed the most was being part of a worthwhile cause. We were honored to attend the gala.”

c1Since 1973, the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona has been committed to the welfare of those suffering from epilepsy. The organization works to prevent and cure seizure disorders, alleviate their effects, and promote independence and optimal quality of life for individuals battling the disorders. The Foundation has developed free community support programs for people affected by epilepsy as well as public education programs. Events like September’s gala are vital to funding the many programs and services offered by the Foundation.

Epilepsy in Arizona

Epilepsy is a generic term for a group of diseases characterized by recurring seizures. A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain that usually affects how a person feels or acts for a short period of time. Severe symptoms can include violent shaking and loss of control.

More than 66,000 Arizonans suffer from the disease; yet it remains one of the most misunderstood health issues. Even after receiving treatment, half of the people suffering from epilepsy continue having seizures. Many have trouble with employment, transportation and social interaction.

EPI-HAB Supports Individuals Living with Epilepsy and its Many Challenges

At EPI-HAB, we provide meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy. Typical work focuses on hand labor skills, and employees are paid at or above minimum wage with flexible hours.

Our 501(c) 3 organization is unique in that we do not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise, nor do we conduct fundraisers. EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business.

“Alongside our organization’s own efforts to increase the quality of life for Arizonans living with epilepsy, we are pleased to donate excess profits to charities like the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona to advance the study of the disorder,” said Rogers.

To learn more about the team at EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc., please visit our website.

If you’d like to get involved in the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona’s mission, click here.

EPI-HAB Employee Demonstrates Perseverance while Balancing Work and School

EPI-HAB Phoenix Inc.’s staff of expert assemblers and supervisor superheroes is united around a single goal: “to provide meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges by performing valued work for area businesses.” Each member of this hardworking dream team brings a unique skill to his or her role and has an interesting story to tell.

Throughout this blog’s series of employee spotlights, we look to introduce our staff to business partners and readers while showcasing their achievements. You’ll learn what they do (on and off the clock) and how they make our organization an outstanding one.

August’s employee spotlight features Fransisco A. Garcia, an assembler at EPI-HAB:

Fransisco has been working at EPI-HAB since 2015. He started his career in the packaging and shipping department. However, after a few months, he was promoted to assembly. Fransisco is currently assembling four to five types of products for EPI-HAB customer Heckler Design. He also supports other departments, operating the forklift and pallet jack and will sometimes fill in as a truck driver. Fransisco is a standout employee, often arriving thirty minutes early to review his schedule and prepare for the day ahead.

PicMonkey Collage

So, what has kept Fransisco at EPI-HAB over the last two years?

“The people at EPI-HAB are very friendly, and I like the variety of jobs I am assigned,” he said.

Fransisco also recently enrolled in courses at UEI College to earn a degree in Information Technology. Working full time and pursuing a degree isn’t easy, but Fransisco does it with a can-do, positive attitude. He has his sights set on the horizon.

“After I graduate, I want to attend boot camp to narrow down my fields of study,” he said. “I see myself working at Microsoft or Google.”

Why did you choose to pursue a degree in Information Technology?

F: I like to challenge myself, and I also enjoy gaming and keeping up with current technology. I’ve always wanted to be involved in tech—so, I figured, “Why not go to college and get a job in the field?”

What is the most challenging aspect of attending college?

F: It’s been a huge personal sacrifice. I’ve given up lots of free time and sleep preparing for classes. Studying for tests has also been challenging. For me, it’s like learning another language.

What class have you enjoyed the most?

F: I started attending two months ago and finished two modules. The first module was an introduction to computers. The second module was Server Administration. At this point, Server Administration is my favorite class because I see how important servers are and my role in the process.

What are some other life achievements, successes or milestones you take pride in?

F: Graduating from high school, getting my driver’s license, owning a car, and being independent

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Why is it important?

F: A classmate told me “always be better than the next guy.” It’s important to me because his advice has driven me to work harder.

What is something interesting most people don’t know about you?

F: I have to work twice as hard as my classmates because of my learning disability. Also, I like 80’s music, and Elton John is one of my favorite artists.

About EPI-HAB:
EPI-HAB brings more than 59 years of experience and energy to fulfillment, assembly and inspectionfull-service mail processing, and storage. As a 501(c) 3 organization, it is totally self-sufficient while providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.  EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a assembly of medical devices to order fulfillment.

 

Meet the Team: An Interview with EPI-HAB Employee Yanet Velazquez

Two years ago, we kicked off a series of blogs and e-blasts introducing EPI-HAB Phoenix Inc.’s hardworking employees to our readers, partners and friends. These employee spotlights help us recognize their milestones and achievements and showcase our team’s diverse backgrounds, interests and talents. Plus, it provides a better picture of our company when employees can share stories in their own words.

July’s employee spotlight features Yanet Velazquez, an assembler at EPI-HAB.


Since 1958, EPI-HAB has helped companies save time, money and space with its hand labor solutions; including mailingsinspection/cleaningassembly and custom packagingstorage and order fulfillment. Salt River Project Power, for example, ships its M-Power units to EPI-HAB multiple times a day. Our team strips the units of their packaging, sorts them by model and scans in the units’ PINs which are relayed to SRP daily.

Yanet then “scopes” each unit for operational defects. The M-Power units that pass inspection are reset, which clears any personal data from a unit’s memory, and then sent to be deep cleaned.

Yanet has been working at EPI-HAB for five years and says she enjoys working for the organization because of its culture and environment.

“I am very proud of the family I have constructed at EPI-HAB, and I am thankful to have a stable job where I feel comfortable every day,” Yanet said. “I’m also very proud to have had the opportunity to come to the United States.”

Yanet’s energy and passion for trying new things and seeking new opportunities make her an asset at EPI-HAB. Outside of work, you will find her singing Karaoke, dancing the salsa, meringue, or bachata to Caribbean music, and planning her next big trip! Earlier this summer, Yanet traveled to Cuba.

yanet1

Why did you choose to travel to Cuba?
Y: I am Cuban, and I went to visit family and friends.

What are some of your favorite memories from the trip?
Y: Traveling to Cuba is an unforgettable experience. I went to the beautiful beaches with my family, walked through Old Havana, and visited “Gran Teatro de La Habana.”

Did anything surprise you during your travels?
Y: I know Cuba and its culture, and it is beautiful to return after years of not going. I am excited to see its streets again someday.

What about the country stands out the most to you?
Y: The essence of Cuba’s people, the joy in spite of the difficulties, and the courage that solves the problems

What was your favorite Cuban meal or food?
Y: My favorite Cuban foods are congris (rice and beans), roasted pork, fried bananas and Cuban tamales.

Where would you like to travel next?
Y: I would like to travel to Hawaii because it is a fantastic place according to my friends’ stories!

yanet 2

EPI-HAB is centrally located at 2125 W. Fillmore Street, Phoenix Arizona 85009, with easy accessibility to all Phoenix locations and throughout Arizona. To learn more about how we work, check out our story here.

Interested in starting a career with EPI-HAB? Click here for more information.

 

EPI-HAB Board Membership: Unlock Your Potential, Fuel Your Career

Americans have always valued volunteerism and today, the commitment is stronger than ever. The U.S. adult volunteering rate has increased by more than 32 percent since 1989.  Numerous studies have shown that volunteering strengthens communities, reduces stress, increases life expectancy and can even advance your career!

However, as a busy professional, it can be challenging to find a community service opportunity that fits into your hectic schedule while making the best use of your experience and expertise.

One local opportunity that fits that bill is EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. Board Membership!

Founded in 1958, EPI-HAB Phoenix Inc. is a totally self-sufficient, not-for-profit company focused on providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges, primarily through hand labor services.

EPI-HAB Board Membership is a gratifying, high-impact way professionals can give back to the Phoenix community while honing leadership, business, and finance skills.  EPI-HAB’s Board of Directors is the governing body of the nonprofit organization. Members review and approve budgets, establish long-term strategy, and act as ambassadors to the community.

Members of the EPI-HAB Board are expected to:

  • Attend meetings – nine meetings per year, usually 90 minutes in length
  • Contribute feedback/input on EPI-HAB’s strategic plans, leadership and areas with which they have professional training, e.g., human resources, product development, finance, accounting, marketing, law
  • Promote EPI-HAB’s mission and services within their personal and professional networks
  • Assist in new board member recruitment

There are NO financial obligations for board membership, and a short (1-2 year) term is an option.

Board Member Judy Snedeker and long-time custodian Charles Johnson at EPI-HAB's 2016 Christmas celebration

Board Member Judy Snedeker and long-time custodian Charles Johnson at EPI-HAB’s 2016 Christmas celebration

“The single most important element in being a successful EPI-HAB Board Member is the ability and commitment to actively participate,” said Judy Snedeker, EPI-HAB’s longest-standing board member (since 1978). “New board members are encouraged to review all aspects of EPI-HAB’s plant operations, tour the facilities, and educate themselves on the safety aspects of the work and types of equipment utilized.”

In her tenure on the board, Snedeker helped the organization acquire its second operations building and held the positions of secretary and vice-president before ascending to board president for 12 years. In sharing some of her favorite board memories, Snedeker noted, “I am thankful for the relationships I’ve built with employees and proud of the accomplishments our team has made in the creation of new product production.”

Desired Candidates

The EPI-HAB board recognizes the value of a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives among its members and is seeking applicants who will enhance its diversity. Experience in the medical, manufacturing, technology, hospitality or entertainment industries is desired, but not required to be considered for the role.

EPIHABBoardMembership1Put Your Expertise into Action

Would you like to help strengthen the Phoenix community? Are you looking to model “giving back” for your children? As a young professional, do you miss the leadership roles and volunteer opportunities offered in college? Are you looking to enhance your career development?

The reasons for EPI-HAB board service are ample and varied.

As Snedeker summarized, “We all have a responsibility to address community needs, and it is very rewarding to be a part of local job creation and help people develop in life.”

If you are interested in devoting your expertise to a worthwhile cause or would like to nominate a candidate to the EPI-HAB Board of Directors, call EPI-HAB at 602-254-7027 or email Executive Director Matt Redmann: matt@epihab.org

From Simple Hand Labor to Complex Assembly, EPI-HAB Does It All

Founded in 1958, EPI-HAB Phoenix Inc. is a totally self-sufficient, not-for-profit company focused on providing meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges, primarily through hand labor services.

Since the start of the year, our team has been involved in a long list of fulfilling projects, and we’ve been proud to see several of EPI-HAB’s customers in the news. We thought we’d summarize these updates for our followers through a quick show-n-tell in this month’s blog:

 

Mobilegro Gains National Attention

Mobilegro, one of EPI-HAB’s unique customers, was the subject of a recent Inc. Magazine article highlighting the owner’s process of turning an innovative idea into a profitable business. Angela DiMaggio came up with the idea for Mobilegro, a cart for gardeners, when she was in her 20s. Thirty years later, she finally had the time to take it to market.

Mobilegro three-tier planter CREDIT: Courtesy Company

Mobilegro three-tier planter CREDIT: Courtesy Company

EPI-HAB receives, stores, and fulfills Angie’s orders for her Mobilegro gardening cart.

Our team takes a great deal of pride in helping small business owners fulfill their dreams!

 

Prepaid Power Units Get New Life

With spring and summer comes an increase in Phoenix relocations, which means increased demand for SRP’s UDT Program.

Throughout the year, EPI-HAB receives shipments of M-Power units multiple times a day. Our team strips the units of their packaging, sorts them by model number, and transports the units to the computer screening operation where each unit is scanned into a log. By scanning the pin numbers, each returned M-Power unit is recorded, so deposit monies can be properly refunded. The EPI-HAB inspection team also “scopes” each unit for operational defects, and the M-Power units that pass are deep cleaned. The clean M-Power units are then repackaged with new informational brochures, and the individually boxed/skidded units are returned to the warehouse, where they’ll await re-issue to the next customer.

PicMonkey Collage

Most weeks, EPI-HAB’s employees supply SRP with around 1,200 – 2,400 cleaned, inspected and freshly-packaged M-Power units. Over the last month, however, our team has been working hard to process an impressive 3,000-3,600 units per week.

Customers like SRP return to EPI-HAB because our dedicated team provides them with the flexibility they demand!

 

White Glove Treatment for…Gloves

In April, Beggs Consulting gave EPI-HAB a call based on a referral. They were seeking help with 3,060 silicone gloves that were packed with the wrong labels.

After receiving the gloves, replacement bags, and inner cards from Beggs Consulting, EPI-HAB’s employees have been removing items from their original bags and re-bagging and sealing them with the new labels. Our inspection team also checks for dirt and hair and rejects any bags that cannot be cleaned. The re-bagged gloves are then packed into a carton, labeled, palletized and stretch wrapped for customer pickup. EPI-HAB employees are required to wear hairnets, gloves, and long-sleeved cotton t-shirts while completing this work, and to keep dust out, no fans or swamp coolers can be run.

gloves

If your product requires a clean or sterile environment, “white glove” treatment is another unique service offered by EPI-HAB!

 

Print Projects Done to a ‘Tea’

tea

Our team members recently had fun lending a hand to O’Neil Printing. We affixed 12 different tea samples to sales brochures, matching the name of the tea with the name on the brochure. Packs of five were then shrink wrapped and packed into boxes. The efforts resulted in a very creative and attractive sales tool!

18076799_1403661646323120_4859413513310453137_oO’Neil Printing also recently tasked EPI-HAB with a simple glue peeling project. Our hand laborers skillfully peeled pharmaceutical information packets apart, removed all of the packets’ glue residue and rubber banded them in random quantities. The 35,000 sheets were then placed in trays all going the same direction and skid packed, keeping all products clean.

EPI-HAB has been a proud partner of O’Neil Printing for more than twenty years. And in that time, we’ve completed a wide range of projects for this innovative Phoenix printer, including collating, large mailings and glue removal.

From simple hand labor to complex assembly, EPI-HAB does it all!

 

Are you wondering how EPI-HAB can help your company? We encourage you to check out this short video summary hosted by EPI-HAB’s Executive Director, Matt Redmann.

EPI-HAB Employee Fulfills 30-Year Dream of U.S. Citizenship

Esthela Moran, an employee with EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc., is all smiles these days. Thirty years ago, Esthela left Mexico, the only home she had ever known, and embarked on an adventure to the United States for a chance at a better quality of life. Esthela says she grew to “love everything about the United States,” and it became increasingly important for her to put down permanent roots through citizenship.

picmonkey1

After many years of hard work and a long paperwork journey of work permits, a working visa, Green Card for permanent residency and citizenship applications, Esthela’s dream was finally realized earlier this month. The almost 19-year EPI-HAB employee passed the citizenship examination and took an oath of allegiance to the United States on April 7, 2017.

Esthela’s swearing-in ceremony was attended by Torrey Rogers, EPI-HAB’s controller. “It was a fantastic day,” observed Torrey.  “I think everyone should experience such a meaningful and patriotic event!”

picmonkey2

The citizenship test Esthela passed is a Q&A on U.S. history, geography and civics alongside a reading and writing English competency test. It’s a challenging exam, even for those who were born in the U.S. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 92 percent of applicants pass this test. However, only around two percent of Americans (who are born citizens) can pass the test without studying.

Think you can pass? Take a sample quiz here!

thumbnail_IMG_0454Esthela is now eligible to serve on a jury, run for office, travel unlimited, and apply for government benefits. She can also vote in the next election—a right Esthela felt was the biggest motivator to pursue citizenship.

“It’s employees like Esthela that make EPI-HAB a special place to work,” said Matt Redmann, Executive Director of EPI-HAB. “Her enthusiasm is the epitome of what our team strives for every day in service. We are extremely proud of Esthela’s hard work on behalf of our country.”

In her spare time, Esthela enjoys cooking tacos and camping with her family. She began working at EPI-HAB in 1999. “My coworkers are very friendly, and I’m very happy here,” she shared.

About EPI-HAB:
EPI-HAB brings more than 59 years of experience and energy to fulfillment, assembly and inspection, full-service mail processing, and storage. As a 501(c) 3 organization, it is totally self-sufficient while providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.  EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of projects ranging from the assembly of medical devices to order fulfillment.

Special thanks to Torrey Rogers for Esthela’s swearing-in ceremony photos.

EPI-HAB Recycles Bras to Support and Empower Women in Need

thumbnail_IMG_0178

Everyday items are often taken for granted by those who can afford them. Whereas a simple wardrobe staple, like a bra, is considered a luxury to women and girls impacted by difficult circumstances like natural disasters, human trafficking and domestic violence. And while 95 percent of clothes (worn and torn) can be recycled, only 15 percent of items are.

The Bra Recyclers is an Arizona-based textile company dedicated to collecting donations of gently-used and new bras. The goal of the organization is to reduce the number of bras sent to landfills while providing substantial social benefits to women and girls in need. Established in 2008, The Bra Recyclers has grown to provide bras to more than 80 organizations around the world as well as local shelters and transitional housing for women and girls. The Bra Recyclers received the 2013 NAACP Humanitarian Award and has been listed as Best Alternative Recycling Program in Phoenix Magazine.

EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. recently joined forces with The Bra Recyclers to help support women in whatever battle they’re facing. After learning more about The Bra Recycler’s mission and process through the Phoenix Business Journal, EPI-HAB used its skilled inspection teams to lend a hand.

thumbnail_IMG_0179

EPI-HAB has been a partner of The Bra Recyclers since October of 2016 and assists with the collection and sorting of bras. Twice a month, EPI-HAB’s driver picks up donated bras from four Sav-On stores in the Phoenix area and brings them back to EPI-HAB’s facilities to be sorted and packaged. The volume varies week-to-week, but an average pickup is a pallet (500 lbs of bras). EPI-HAB’s inspection teams then thumbnail_IMG_0389sort through the collected bras placing them into four categories: New Bras, Used But Like New, Victoria’s Secret and Thrift. After being sorted, the bras are boxed, palletized and shrink wrapped before they are picked up by The Bra Recycler. Since October, EPI-HAB has processed more than 3,300 lbs of bras for women in need.

Hand labor similar to this is just one of the many ways EPI-HAB can help your company save time, money and space. Not to mention, all projects are completed while providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.

To learn more about EPI-HAB’S services, call: 602-254-7027 or complete our online inquiry form.

Click here to learn more about The Bra Recycler’s unique organization and mission.

About EPI-HAB:
EPI-HAB brings more than 59 years of experience and energy to fulfillment, assembly and inspection, full-service mail processing, and storage. As a 501(c) 3 organization, it is totally self-sufficient while providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.  EPI-HAB focuses on the abilities of its employees, not their disabilities, and performs valued work for businesses, large and small, assisting them with a wide variety of projects ranging from the assembly of medical devices to order fulfillment.

Proposition 206: What Does It Mean for EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc.?

EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc. faces a big question in 2017: As Arizona’s controversial new wage rule kicks in, will this nonprofit company employing the disabled continue to thrive…or struggle?

The passing of Proposition 206 is great news for Arizona workers, but many business owners fear varying degrees of fallout, including an increase in automation, job loss and the shuttering of beloved small businesses.

What is EPI-HAB, and how does it operate?

epicollage2

For nearly sixty years, EPI-HAB Phoenix, Inc., unlike most other nonprofit organizations, has been self-sufficient. Employing hundreds of individuals with epilepsy and other challenges, the company has thrived without receiving outside help.

“EPI-HAB is unique in that we do not solicit donations or charitable contributions, receive any grants – government or otherwise, nor do we conduct fundraisers,” explained Matt Redmann, Executive Director of EPI-HAB. “EPI-HAB operates and competes, for the most part, as a for-profit business.”

The 501(c)3 organization was founded in 1958 by a group of business and medical professionals who volunteered their time and efforts to form a company providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with epilepsy. Government grants and other funds helped launch EPI-HAB, but the goal from the beginning was for the company to become self-supporting.

The goal was quickly achieved, and over the years, EPI-HAB has actually been able to donate excess profits to local charities to advance the study of epilepsy. Additionally, with the health industry’s breakthroughs in the field of epilepsy, EPI-HAB expanded its mission “to provide meaningful employment for individuals with epilepsy and other challenges.”

What did Proposition 206 change?

On January 1, Arizona’s minimum wage increased to $10 an hour, a nearly 25 percent jump from the current $8.05. The ballot measure also calls for the minimum wage to continue increasing in 50-cent increments to $12 by 2020, and employers are now required to pay for sick leave.

EPI-HAB employs around 30 people, and with most previously making less than $10 an hour, the majority of its staff received raises this month.

What does this mean for EPI-HAB?

Unfortunately, EPI-HAB doesn’t have a vast overhead that can be cut to support these raises, and there is no profit margin to reduce. The logical answer may be to raise prices to cover the added payroll costs, but the company fears its major customers throughout the U.S. may look to automate tasks or seek out cheaper labor.

However, undaunted by change, Redmann says he’s up to the challenge and has set a goal to increase sales by $40,000 – $80,000 to cover the year’s added payroll.

“I’m going to work my butt off to avoid having to raise costs, reduce benefits or trim staff,” said Redmann.

How can you support EPI-HAB’s mission?

EPI-HAB helps businesses, large and small, overcome challenges with growth and logistics.  The company helps save time, money and space with its hand labor solutions; including mailings, inspection/cleaning, assembly and custom packaging, storage and order fulfillment.

blog32

EPI-HAB is also suited for jobs of all sizes, from the large business needing increased production during its peak season to the individual who needs some help with a bulk mailing. Employees have taken on important projects for local professional sports teams as well as medical device manufacturers.

To help offset this year’s losses, please consider EPI-HAB for any labor-intensive job! Contact Matt Redmann at 602-254-7027 or through email at matt@epihab.org.