Agency RSS

State’s ‘Ability for Hire’ Campaign Nets Two Communication Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016

CONTACT: Patrick Baker, DHS communications officer, (605) 773-5990 or patrick.baker@state.sd.us


State’s ‘Ability for Hire’ Campaign Nets Two Communication Awards


Campaign seeks employer testimonials to enhance message for statewide audience


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s “Ability for Hire” campaign rounded out 2015 being honored twice by the MarCom Awards, an international creative competition for marketing and communication professionals.


Communications agency Epicosity of Sioux Falls, which received a total of 11 MarCom awards across eight clients in 2015, handled the Ability for Hire campaign for the S.D. Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). The MarCom Awards are given annually to individuals and companies involved in the conception, writing and design of print, visual, audio and web materials and programs.


“We are excited the Ability for Hire campaign has captured the imagination of so many viewers and look forward to it continuing to change public perceptions about what people with disabilities have to offer,” DHS Secretary Gloria Pearson said. “As we continue to work toward Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s goal of making South Dakota an employment-first state, we are pleased to look to Ability for Hire as a visible component of those efforts.”


Ability for Hire netted two awards for Epicosity and the state:

  • Platinum award in the Single Spot category for a video testimonial/commercial from a South Dakotan with a disability – Kendra Gottsleben enjoys a successful career as social media administrator for the University of South Dakota Center for Disabilities.
  • Gold award in the Website/Informational category for AbilityForHire.com, which launched in late summer and promotes the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.


MarCom’s platinum award is presented to entries judged to be among the most outstanding entries in the competition in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness. Gold awards exceed high industry standards.


“We knew it was a good idea to make employment the first priority and preferred outcome for South Dakotans with disabilities,” said DRS Director Eric Weiss of Daugaard’s employment-first goal, “and as Ability for Hire was taking shape, we could see it would be a powerful tool. Now we hope to strengthen the campaign by transforming new employer success stories about hiring people with disabilities into messages we can broadcast across South Dakota through all of the avenues used by Ability for Hire.”


Those who know of employers willing to share such stories may contact DRS through AbilityForHire.com.



About DHS

The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.


– 30 –