(HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT) – In celebration of Autism Awareness Month, The Prospector Theater was invited to the state Capitol to receive the “Employer of the Year” award from the State of Connecticut and the Autism Action Coalition.
Organizations and individuals alike were honored for their work as the State of Connecticut celebrated the Autism community. The Prospector Theater – a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing meaningful employment to adults with disabilities through the operation of a first-run movie theater in Ridgefield, CT – was recognized for their efforts and dedication to people and families with Autism Spectrum Disorders. State Senator Toni Boucher commending the Prospector for “providing both entertainment and employment opportunities for those with ASD.”
The Prospector’s dedication to creating meaningful employment for adults with disabilities provides an extraordinary model for other businesses and employers to follow. Nearly 80% of Americans with disabilities are unemployed, and through their competitive and integrated work environment, the Prospector is demonstrating the talents, capabilities, and employability of this underrepresented workforce.
Since opening in November of 2014, the Prospector has employed over 190 Prospects: the name of all employees of the Theater. Prospects are all paid above the minimum wage, and encouraged to explore their talents and passions – or sparkle – through a variety of job opportunities, including projection, video production, animation, baking, development, etc. The Prospector is currently the number one performing independent four-screen movie theater in the tri-state area, demonstrating to employers that the hiring of adults with disabilities is not “nice” or the “right thing to do”, but that people with disabilities add real value to the business.