Spectrum Designs Social Enterprise Expands

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Members of the Spectrum community in front of the newly acquired building at lower Main Street in Port Washington.

Spectrum Designs, a nonprofit apparel decoration business where 75 percent of employees are developmentally disabled, completed the purchase of a new 7,400-square foot facility in Port Washington. With the new space Spectrum plans to secure more than 50 jobs and increase their reach in partnership with The Nicholas Center to more than 100 families.

Spectrum Designs, one of the fastest growing businesses of its kind, has announced plans to expand and open a flagship location on lower Main Street in Port Washington. Now six years old, the organization has seen rapid growth and with 2017 sales projected to surpass $2 million, the expansion could not come soon enough.

Spectrum Designs is a social enterprise that provides meaningful work opportunities to individuals with autism. Spectrum Designs brings its items to life by using screen printing, embroidery, state-of-the-art digital printing and unsurpassed customer service. With its competitive pricing and commitment to quality, Spectrum has gained clients such as the MTA, KPMG, Neiman Marcus and Facebook.

“We are delighted to finally purchase the property at 366 Main St. which completes phase one of our expansion. We are thankful to all that made this dream a reality—our donors, volunteers and, of course, to the growing list of customers who are willing to give people with disabilities a fair shot,” said Spectrum Designs Co-founder and CEO Patrick Bardsley. “This building will stand as a testament to the capabilities of our workforce. We are proud of this milestone and our team deserves all the credit for the hard work they put in each and every day.”

Spectrum Designs currently employs 30 full- and part-time adult staff, with approximately 75 percent of staff diagnosed with autism or a related condition. It is an integrated workforce with employees earning minimum wage or above depending on education, skillset, experience and general performance. Furthermore, in partnership with The Nicholas Center, Spectrum Designs opens its doors to another 27 school-aged trainees who receive authentic vocational training and work-readiness skills every week.

National data indicates that the vast majority of adults with autism are either unemployed or underemployed, with estimates ranging as high as 90 percent. An estimated 500,000 adolescents on the autism spectrum will enter adulthood in the next decade. Helping businesses build knowledge and networks to stabilize employment opportunities is one way to support this abundance of job-seekers in the market.

For more information, visit www.spectrumdesigns.org or call 516-767-7187.

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