By: Mike Rhodes—
Muncie, IN—During April’s First Thursday, the Horizon Convention Center raised awareness and funds for the Erskine Green Training Institute during their “flower hour” fundraiser.
Flower Hour was a progressive walk of downtown Muncie where participants collected a flower at various stops, finishing the tour at the Courtyard Marriott Muncie to receive a vase and attend a complimentary reception. Flowers were donated by Miller’s Flower Shop and Foisters Flowers and Gifts.
“Flower stops” were located outside downtown businesses including: Dandelion’s, The Hayloft Boutique, Intersection, HeidiJHale, Brinkman Gallery, Canan Commons and the Courtyard Marriott Muncie.
The Arc of Indiana advocates and lobbies on behalf of citizens with cognitive and developmental disabilities. It also creates post-secondary training opportunities for people with disabilities that empower them and lead to meaningful employment through the Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI). It is the first program of its kind in the country.
After receiving training at EGTI, students apply those skills through internships at the Courtyard Marriott Muncie, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co., and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.
This program is both improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families and providing a positive economic impact to the Muncie community.
“Because of the tremendous support from the Muncie community, The Arc was able to build a model unlike anything else in the country. While we knew it would be successful, the impact it is having, especially on families, has exceeded all expectations. We have had 88 students complete the program and the current employment rate is over 80%. Just as important, the Courtyard and Thr3e Wise Men are having a positive economic impact on Muncie. This is truly a win-win and cities around the country are watching. “ —Jill Vaught, Director of Advancement, Arc of Indiana
Recently, The Arc of Indiana Foundation and Inclusive Evansville Action Committee announced their shared vision to expand Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI) into Southwest Indiana to provide postsecondary training to people with disabilities in the manufacturing and banking industries. The program is expected to begin in the fall of 2019.
About Erskine Green Training Institute www.erskinegreeninstitute.org
In 2014, The Arc of Indiana decided that an 80 percent unemployment rate for people with disabilities was unacceptable and that something significant needed to be done to affect change. The Arc of Indiana Foundation was formed, and Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI) was developed in Muncie, Indiana to provide postsecondary training for people with disabilities in the hospitality, food service and health care industries. To date, EGTI has provided training to nearly 100 individuals, with a 100 percent graduation rate and post-training employment numbers consistently at 80 percent.
About The Arc of Indiana and The Arc of Indiana Foundation www.arcind.org
The Arc of Indiana Foundation exists to create postsecondary training opportunities for people with disabilities that empower and lead to meaningful employment. The Arc of Indiana, established in 1956, is committed to all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities realizing their goals of living, learning, working and fully participating in the community. The combined strength of local Arcs, state Arcs and The Arc of the United States makes The Arc the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
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