The first week of classes is underway at a unique training program in Muncie for people with disabilities. The Erskine Green Training Institute, a project led by Indianapolis-based The Arc of Indiana Foundation Inc., involves job certifications for hotel, food service and medical industries. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Arc Executive Director Kim Dotson said she believes the institute will create a "foundation" for job creation.
The institute is housed at the 150-room Courtyard Hotel in the city’s downtown, connects to the Horizon Convention Center and is billed as the first training environment of its kind in the U.S. The property, which opened in recent weeks, also includes a Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. location and a bistro.
Students receiving certifications through the program will have opportunities for internships at the hotel, restaurant or Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital. The institute’s goal is to boost employment among those with disabilities. The Arc says the hotel will employ around 30 individuals with disabilities in jobs including management. The program also includes "entrepreneurial venture" ownership or management opportunities within the hotel such as a news stand, flower shop and shoe shine stand.
The institute is now enrolling for the next sets of nine or 13-week classes taking place in April, June and September.