New Hotel Will Employ and Train Workers with Disabilities

A fully-functioning hotel that provides employment and educational opportunities for workers with disabilities was scheduled to open with a ribbon cutting on December 22. The 150-room Courtyard Muncie at Horizon Convention Center is a 113,000-square-foot facility attached to the local convention center in Muncie, Indiana.

Starting the day it opens, at least 20 percent of the hotel’s 129 employees will be individuals with developmental or other types of disabilities. People with disabilities are already employed in all parts of the hotel’s operations, including the front desk, housekeeping, and the bistro and restaurant located on site.

Arc of Indiana led the $32 million project, which was partially funded by the state of Indiana. The project includes a training institute where people with disabilities from across Indiana will come for nine- to 13-week sessions and learn vocational skills related to hospitality, food service, and healthcare. Participants will intern at the hotel, restaurant, or a nearby hospital. The first class is scheduled to begin January 11.

The project’s goal is to significantly improve employment opportunities and post-secondary education for people with disabilities. The leaders behind the project hope that word will spread about the quality of the hotel’s workers and people who are trained at the institute and that other businesses and industries will be encouraged to hire more people with disabilities.

The new hotel and training center will provide excellent opportunities for people with disabilities to learn valuable skills and obtain gainful employment. We wish all of the workers and trainees success in their new careers and hope that the hotel will serve as a model for other businesses.

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