Port Washington-based nonprofits promoting autism jobs and life skills have their first graduate class recognized by the American Screen Print Association.
The Spectrum Designs Foundation and the Nicholas Center honored students who learned about industry-standard processes in their training for the job market. The ceremony was held outside at the Sousa Bandshell in Port Washington last week.
“You have studied and certified in an industry and nearly a millennial process and now you bring your skills to the table to help Spectrum Designs for the next decade,” said Patrick Bardsley, co-founder and CEO of Spectrum Designs, in a statement.
Spectrum Design is a social custom apparel company opening a second location in Westchester. The nonprofit enables consumers to “make meaningful purchases by providing employment and significant work experience for people with autism and developmental disorders,” the organization said.
The coursework included hands-on training in the Spectrum Designs print shop, including time spent in each department (screen printing / embroidery / DTG), training in the workshop – six hours a day to ensure a higher level of perseverance, attention to detail and task performance . Classes included videos of various screen printing-specific and industry-standard processes that gave trainees a broader experience.
Bardsley spoke of the organization’s commitment to “investing in people”.
“We want you to improve the way you work so you can do us better at our work,” he said. “We want you to grow by our side, because without you we are just a building with tons of metal machines and cotton T-shirts.”
Spectrum Designs works with the Nicholas Center, whose business model is designed to promote independence and provide support in an integrated work environment.