Mission & History
To develop and provide job training, employment and vocational support for youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
Serving businesses throughout Metro Atlanta and 16 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 24,000 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 has served as President & CEO for 35 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 16 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 18 community based locations around Metro Atlanta & the South.
With the recent economic downturn, the Center sought ways to diversify funding while creating jobs. Reworx, an electronics recycling business was created in 2009. This social enterprise helps protect the planet, while creating jobs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, and provides a potential tax deduction for donors.
Corporations and consumers may donate TVs, computers, cell phones, copiers, HVAC equipment and more at Nobis Works in Marietta or at the Reworx site in Kennesaw. Since 2009, the program has created 71 jobs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, who process almost 1 million pounds monthly of electronics destined for landfills.