Spectrum Works, MTS Logistics Raise $98,000 With 13th Annual Charity Bike Tour Supporting Autism Employment & Acceptance
Funds to be used to provide job training and employment opportunities to young adults on the spectrum
Spectrum Works, a unique nonprofit that provides job training and employment placement services to autistic individuals, partnered with MTS Logistics for the 13th Annual Charity Bike Tour that took place in New York City on June 10th, 2023 in support of autism acceptance, employment, and equity. This year's event raised over $98,000 for Spectrum Works, which has built a noteworthy reputation over the past ten years for successfully training autistic individuals for meaningful employment, implementing sustainable employment programs at companies, and creating more integrated workforces through greater education and opportunity. They are also still accepting donations at this time towards their final goal on the bike tour event page.
"We are grateful to everyone who participated in the 13th Annual Charity Bike Tour and supported Spectrum Works’ programs that empower autistic individuals to find meaningful, long-term employment," said Ann Marie Sullivan, CEO and Founder of Spectrum Works. "Through this event, we have been able to expand our reach and support network, making a positive impact in the lives of autistic individuals and companies alike. We remain committed to our belief that autistic individuals possess unique talents that greatly contribute to the workplace. We also extend our deepest gratitude to MTS Logistics and Sedat Saka for their unwavering support in furthering the mission of Spectrum Works and passionately championing autism employment opportunities."
The bike tour started in lower Manhattan, taking riders over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brighton Beach for a beachfront brunch. Attendees enjoyed a raffle with exciting prizes, including round trip international airline tickets courtesy of Turkish Airlines and two sets of four tickets to the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park at American Dream, courtesy of gold sponsor American Dream. The event also provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about Spectrum Works' mission directly from a participating student, Hennessey Kingsley, who shared an inspiring story about her own personal experience working with the organization.
“I've grown to appreciate what this company has done for not only me for being able to share my artistic abilities with the world, but everyone that comes into contact with them. It's such an honor to be at this bike tour giving this speech,” said Hennessey, who is on the spectrum, in her speech during the lunch break portion of the bike tour. “Spectrum Works has given everyone who is on the spectrum a voice and a perfect job. They also give said people on the spectrum an ability to meet new people just like them. Eventually they start to grow appreciation for the staff members for being gentle, kind, sweet, and willing to let people like me shine their special colors. Because of this, they contribute a bunch for the autistic community and create a safe and healthy work environment for everyone.”
"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who supported our great event and for helping to make this year's bike tour event a success,” said Sedat Saka, MTS Logistics President. “I would also like to recognize Spectrum Works who has joined forces with us to help maximize support for autism employment awareness each year. I was very inspired by Hennessey's speech on how the work of Spectrum Works and MTS has helped to further workplace opportunities for autistic individuals. This year's event was especially memorable, as my son Ilyas Saka turned 6 and participated in his first bike ride. The cause of autism awareness is very near and dear to MTS Logistics and I am very proud to announce we've once again met our fundraising goals and have made a lasting impact through our relationship with Spectrum Works."
Spectrum Works plans to utilize the funds raised through the event to launch a new program that supports funded internships at partner companies. The program will provide job coaching and support for autistic individuals who are no longer attending high school that have limited opportunities for internships. The goal is to help interns secure employment with partner companies after the completion of the program. Autistic young adults face significant barriers to employment, with nearly half of autistic 25-year-olds having never held a paying job. Funds will be used to cover interns’ wages, and job coach salaries at partner companies, and to educate companies about the benefits of hiring autistic individuals, including increasing awareness and understanding of the unique talents and abilities that autistic individuals can bring to the workplace. Companies that have implemented autism employment programs highlight numerous advantages, including harnessing untapped talent to meet workforce demands, fostering an inclusive culture, contributing to the local community, and making a meaningful social impact. Many industries have started recognizing the immense potential of autistic individuals and the compelling business reasons to hire them, yet the need to raise further awareness remains.
The funds will also help to increase awareness and optimism amongst autistic individuals and their families that organizations like Spectrum Works exist to support them in their journey towards employment and a better quality of life. Participants’ donations or sponsorships will have an exponential impact on the lives of these individuals, their families, companies, the community as a whole, and go a long way in supporting Spectrum Works' mission of providing employment opportunities for autistic individuals.
Spectrum Works invites interested individuals and companies to continue supporting their mission by making donations on the event website: https://www.classy.org/campaign/13th-annual-bike-tour-with-mts-for-autism/c458337
If you are interested in learning more about starting an autism employment program at your company, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.