There’s a very cool thing happening in Muncie, Indiana. Frustrated with the lack of post-secondary opportunities for his developmentally disabled son and others like him, Jeff Huffman had an idea. The Arc of Indiana liked his idea and ran with it, initiating a project to build a hospitality training institute and a Courtyard by Marriott teaching hotel specifically to help folks like Jeff’s son get skills training that will lead to employment.
After training at the institute, graduates will have the opportunity to apply their newly learned skills in internships at the teaching hotel, where at least 20% of the employees will be people with disabilities, including in management positions. Profits from the hotel will be used to support the training institute and other initiatives of The Arc of Indiana.
Connected to the Horizon Convention Center in downtown Muncie, the hotel will be a 150 room Courtyard by Marriott hotel with restaurant and parking garage, all of which will exceed ADA standards. The hotel will feature original artwork by individuals with disabilities, and the lobby will include businesses owned by people with disabilities, such as a news stand, flower shop, and shoe shine stand.
The grand opening is slated for late summer 2015.