Hospitality with a purpose. That’s what the new Shepherd Hotel in Clemson, South Carolina., is offering. The six-story, boutique hotel focuses on creating a heartwarming guest experience that fosters long-term sustainable and meaningful employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities. It also helps ensure guest comfort and optimized indoor environmental quality (IEQ) with a new highly efficient Trane®/Mitsubishi Electric VRF HVAC system and controls donated by Trane and Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS)*.
The hotel’s owners work with ClemsonLIFE™ to staff the hotel. This two-year Clemson University collegiate-experience program prepares young men and women with intellectual disabilities for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration. In addition to classroom instruction on employment skills, the students receive on-site supervision and weekly jobsite performance evaluations.
The hotel’s owners plan to develop Shepherd Hotels adjacent to college campuses across the country where similar collegiate-experience programs are in place. Owners hope this hotel and others being planned around the country will make a meaningful dent in the nearly 80 percent unemployment rate1 facing persons with disabilities.