Spectrum Designs awarded grant for Disability Employment Awareness Month

Rose Weldon
Spectrum Designs received a grant from TD Bank. (Photo courtesy of Spectrum Designs)

The Port Washington-based Spectrum Designs Foundation was recently awarded a five-figure grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, to support the organization’s Disabilities Employment Training Program.

Spectrum announced the development during October’s 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and said the $10,000 grant will allow job seekers with developmental disabilities to participate in paid internships that may lead to employment at Spectrum Designs and prepare Spectrum employees for competitive employment.

“We are grateful for this grant, poignantly received during the 75th observance of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” Patrick Bardsley, CEO of Spectrum Designs, said in a statement. “This year’s theme, increasing access and opportunity, is at the very core of our mission – to help individuals with Autism lead full and productive lives through the world of work. Funding for our Disabilities Employment Training Program, will help our social enterprise advance job training and opportunity for the individuals with Autism whom we serve.”

“We are honored to support Spectrum Designs in creating opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities to participate in the workplace,” Anthony Esernio, TD Bank Market President of the Suburban New York region, said in a statement. “At TD, we believe that creating a more accessible and inclusive workplace is required to enable all to achieve their full potential.”

Founded in 2011 and focused in Port, Spectrum operates three businesses – Spectrum Designs; Spectrum Bakes, a bakery; and Spectrum Suds, a laundry service – where 75 percent of employees are individuals are on the autism spectrum, hence the name.

In addition to the TD Bank grant, the organization received a much-sought-after grant from New York State’s Regional Economic Development Council’s 2019 program. The $240,000 from the state will also see the organization lease and renovate a 10,000 sq. foot multi-use commercial property located in Westchester, their first expansion outside of Port.

Share this Article