The Prospector is in Paris this week to share their sparkle with a group of Parisian changemakers hoping to revitalize their historic movie theater.
The visit is the second trip of a two-part tour, with the group from France visiting the Prospector this past October. Members of the French cinema industry, government officials, and non-profit professionals made the pilgrimage from Paris to Prospect Street with the hopes of discovering how they can create jobs, and bring movies back to, their community.
This week, Prospector will be touring the theater space, assisting the group with understanding the feasibility of their project and scope.
Since opening, the Prospector has received hundreds of replication inquiries. The non-profit movie theater employing people with disabilities has operated as a sparkly beacon of hope for the roughly 80% of Americans with disabilities who do not have a job. Prospector Visionary & Founder Valerie Jensen saw an incredible need for employment in her community and decided to do something. Her answer to unemployment was the Prospector Theater - a premium first-run theater that employs over 120 Prospects (the name of all Prospector employees).
Unfortunately, the need for the Prospector’s work has grown significantly, as more than 1,000,000 Americans with disabilities were dismissed from their job due to COVID-19, according to the Society for Human Resources Management. Prospector Executive Director, Mike Santini, says whether domestically or internationally, the employment landscape is incredibly bleak for people with disabilities. “The world desperately needs more businesses like the Prospector. On average, we receive four job applications per week,” says Santini. “Yes, we’ve been able to employ over 300 Prospects since opening, but there is still a massive need for competitive and integrated work in our community, country, and across the globe.”
The Prospector is ready to help. “Recently, a lot of organizations, educators, and changemakers have been asking us to help them adapt aspects of our model to their business or start-up,” says Santini. “We see this as a huge opportunity for the Prospector - to grow and expand our mission, create more jobs, and help others to share their sparkle.”
The Prospector is currently in discussions with several organizations about potential engagements. By partnering with charitable and corporate partners, the Prospector is hoping this program will help them grow from creating hundreds of jobs to thousands.