For 10 years, Spectrum Designs has supplied a wide variety of custom apparel and promotional products to a vast range of businesses, state agencies, NGOs and private individuals. Providing competitive pricing, unsurpassed customer service, in-house graphic design and high-quality items is what they do but why they do it sets them apart. At Spectrum Designs, more than 50 percent of the workforce is comprised of New Yorkers with disabilities—a group that faces an estimated 90 percent under-employment rate in America.
Since its inception, its combined affiliates (Spectrum Designs, Spectrum Bakes, Spectrum Suds) have provided more than 80,000 hours of paid employment, resulting in total wages of over $1M to this under-served population.
The nonprofit was co-founded in 2011 by a trio of trailblazers, including two parents of teenage children with Autism who wanted more for their sons and other children who faced similar adversities. To help bring their ideas to life, they recruited a young businesses leader with a multitude of experience supervising, training and supporting teens and adults with developmental disabilities. The final result: A business born out of necessity.
In 2021 they have grown to more than 50 employees who make up a truly unique neurodiverse team. Having experience year-over-year growth they were not slowed by the pandemic and amassed more than $4m in sales last year, which represented 30 percent growth over the prior year. The company takes pride in turning trainees into taxpayers while rewarding team members through pay raises and promotions. Spectrum was also lauded as a “2020 Best Places to Work” by Long Island Business News.
“Reaching this milestone is a very proud moment for all of us at Spectrum Designs Foundation,” co-Founder and CEO Patrick Bardsley, said. “Looking back over the ten years there have been many pivotal moments that stand out as markers of growth and achievement—a big new client, reaching a sales goal or a building expansion. However, it is the non-tangible moments that will live long in memory; the new friendships forged, the pride at receiving a first paycheck, the laughter heard from the breakroom or the shop floor. This is the very essence of our mission and what will continue to drive and guide us into the next decade.”
In addition to its 7,500 square foot flagship building at 366 Main St. in Port Washington, Spectrum opened a second 8,000 square foot location in fall 2020 at 199 Tompkins Ave. in Pleasantville, New York. The facility was needed to accommodate a growing client list that includes: Uber, Google, NYU Langone Medical Center, Northwell Health, St. John’s University, J.P.Morgan Chase and MTA MetroNorth.
“The dedication, hard work, and creativity by the team at Spectrum to achieve so much in ten short years is truly inspirational,” Board President Jothy Narendran, said. “Being President of the Board has challenged me to want to do so much more to further our mission. I look forward to doing what I can to continue the success Spectrum has experienced. I am excited for our expansion to Westchester and our never-ending commitment to making a difference to those individuals affected by Autism,”
Spectrum Enterprises is a business with a social mission: to help individuals with Autism lead full and productive lives through the world of work, building an inclusive workplace where all employees with disabilities can thrive. With our partners at The Nicholas Center, these individuals acquire training, education, and life skills support to work at their three businesses – Spectrum Designs, Spectrum Bakes and Spectrum Suds.
Spectrum Enterprises has been recognized as: a “2020 Top-Rated” organization by Great Nonprofits; “2020 Best Places to Work” by Long Island Business News; and a “Best Practice Charity” by the National Association of Nonprofit Organization and Executives. They are a nonprofit organization and 100 percent of proceeds go to furthering their mission. More information is available at spectrumenterprises.org. To learn more about Spectrum Designs Foundation, visit spectrumdesigns.org,
—Submitted by the Spectrum Designs Foundation