Mission & History
Empowering People Through Employment
Serving businesses throughout Metro Atlanta and 17 states, Nobis Works helps individuals with all types of disabilities to enter or return to employment, and to enjoy productive and independent lifestyles while contributing to the greater business community. Since 1977, we have helped more than 25,000 individuals find dignity and workplace success.
In 1975, Bobbie Knopf was chair of the Department of Special Education at Northside High School in Atlanta.
At that time she began a needs assessment dialogue with Joyce Slaughter, the mother of one of Bobbie’s students. They realized that the options available in North Atlanta for students with special needs after completing high school were limited.
As a result of the needs assessment, they formed an Advisory Board. Having heard of Tommy Nobis' commitment to Special Olympics and persons with disabilities, the board approached the Atlanta Falcons All Pro Linebacker for support and named the project the Tommy Nobis Center.
In 1977, the Tommy Nobis Center hired Connie Kirk who served as President & CEO for 39 years. Once incorporated, the Center’s team contracted with the Georgia Department of Labor's Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide vocational/work evaluations, social, personal, work adjustment services, job placement, and job coaching for area clients.
In the 1980s, the Tommy Nobis Center expanded its mission to include employment opportunities. To accommodate this expansion, the Center moved twice in the next decade, settling in 1992 in a 52,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility in Marietta, Ga. funded by public and private donations. Today, the organization's federal contracting division, Nobis Enterprises, employs individuals with disabilities in 17 states.
In 2006, the Center began to concentrate on today's model of community based training sites. Nobis Works’ Tommy Nobis Center still provides training and employment services onsite, and at several community based locations around Metro Atlanta & the South.
Nobis Works continues to develop varying social enterprises that create jobs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, and provides a potential tax deduction for donors.