PLATINUM2024

WhirliDogs Training Center

The Power of Possibility

Wilson, NC   |  http://www.whirlidogs.com

Mission

"To establish a downtown business or businesses that would support the training and subsequent employment of differently abled adults, being inclusive of all levels of ability."

Notes from the nonprofit

WhirliDogs is a community grassroots effort born out of a desparate need to provide young adults with disabililties a first job experience. Many community parents and educators have found that these individuals very rarely get an opportunity for training and actual employment. Parents have reported that even volunteer opportunities are unavailable. Our vision is to operate a full kitchen cafe that gives these individuals that essential "first job" experience and training in the hospitality industry while at the same time demonstrating to local business owners the hardworking and loyal nature of this untapped workforce. Our vision is that these individuals can move into more full-time community jobs, maybe even some with benefits.

Ruling year info

2020

Volunteer Project Manager

Ms. Wesley Trump

Chairman of the Board

Mrs. Martha Barnes Wrenn

Main address

PO Box 2932

Wilson, NC 27894 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-3657534

NTEE code info

Vocational Rehabilitation (includes Job Training and Employment for Disabled and Elderly) (J30)

Employment Training (J22)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The local area of Wilson, North Carolina lacks opportunity for persons with disabilities to gain necessary real-world experience in a work environment vital to their success at gaining both monetary income and independence. WhirliDogs would function as a live training center for persons with disabilities to learn both the hard and soft skills needed to work in the culinary or retail fields. The goal is to provide a “first work experience” for individual’s resumes that is crucial to opening up other opportunities of employment, thus increasing ability for persons with disabilities to have a stable income.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

WhirliDogs’ ServSafe Food Handler Academy

WhirliDogs ServSafe Academy is a four day inclusive class designed for teenagers and adults both with and without disabilities who are seeking their first job in a food service establishment and wish to add an advantage to their job application. The academy lessons use the ServSafe Food Handlers guide to learn safety and sanitation guidelines that food service establishments are required to follow. Daily hands-on practice comes when the participants work in teams with the instructors, to cook their lunch in a local church's commercial kitchen to practice the concepts taught in the class. With the addition of the hands-on practice, 90% of the participants pass the certification test at the end of the academy.

Population(s) Served

WhirliDogs Prep Academy is an inclusive class for teenagers and adults with and without disabilities that serves as an introduction to cooking. Each academy is 4 sessions lasting 2 hours. Participants learn to follow a recipe as each participant follows the instructor to prepare a meal they can then take home to feed their families. Examples of the meals prepared include lasagna, enchiladas, meatloaf, and stuffed potatoes. Kitchen safety and sanitation are emphasized.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people
Students
At-risk youth
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people
Students
At-risk youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

WhirliDogs’ ServSafe Food Handler Academy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

10 Teenagers with disabilities trained in basic cooking skills 78 Teenagers and adults with disabilities certified in ServSafe Food Handlers

Number of job skills training courses/workshops conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

WhirliDogs’ ServSafe Food Handler Academy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

WhirliDog's Prep Academy covers ServSafe Food Handler certification and basic networking. The students develop "Elevator Speeches" for networking opportunities.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The local area of Wilson, North Carolina lacks opportunity for persons with disabilities to gain necessary real-world experience in a work
environment vital to their success at gaining both monetary income and independence. WhirliDogs would function as a live training
center for persons with disabilities to learn both the hard and soft skills needed to work in the culinary or retail fields. The goal is to
provide a “first work experience” for individual’s resumes that is crucial to opening up other opportunities of employment, thus
increasing ability for persons with disabilities to have a stable income.

With the capitol campaign for the WhirliDogs Training Center completed, construction will begin to install a commercial kitchen within a newly renovated building in Historic Downtown Wilson. In January 2023 working with community employment partners (NCWorks, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Diversified Opportunities), 12 persons interested in culinary work-based training will be vetted through an intake process. Classes on food safety and sanitation will continue passing rate of 90% based on previous training. Upon obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, four soft openings will be scheduled in February to allow for continuous quality improvement. The artisan consignment piece with area high schools with exceptional children enterprise programs and private disabled artisans will be implemented March of 2023. Once established WhirliDogs will partner with the local school system for the 2024-2025 school year to provide pre-employment vocational services and seminars to high school students with disabilities.

Local community support: Wilson is a small and “tight-knit” community, and community support is as vital to the success of any business/organization as a good product. The WhirliDog’s mission has been embraced by the local community and they have demonstrated this support with donations from 87 private citizens and 7 local corporations.

Current funding: WhirliDogs has already secured multiple private funding sources as well as corporate sources. Multiple funders are multi-year commitments that boast the confidence the community has in the longevity of the program. Long-term and multiyear funding reflects well when applying for additional funding from grants, foundations, etc.

Partnerships with established programs; Diversified Opportunities, Inc., a local vocational rehabilitation facility sees the value of the WhirliDogs’ mission and has offered a myriad of support during early development and fundraising efforts. The partnership with Diversified Opportunities has contributed to multiple first steps essential for growth with in-kind partnerships and willingness to partner on other
aspects of the program. They have subsidized the training of the volunteer project manager in obtaining both the ServSafe Managerial Certificate as well as paid for training for Working Smart; Soft Skills for Workplace Success certification. Their board of directors has also agreed to pay the rent for the facility for the first two years of operation. Their excellent fiscal history, safety record, and reputation for
excellent service and results have helped guide the WhirliDogs Training Center, Inc. in formulating sustainable fiscal practices and procedures. Wilson Community College has offered to partner with WhirliDogs by placing non-paid work-based interns in their culinary and business accounting programs. The Wilson County Public schools would love the partnership for their Occupational Course of Study students to receive community based hours in career readiness and career exploration.

Successful implementation of the pilot program: WhirliDogs’ ServSafe and Working Smart classes have already begun at Diversified. Twenty individuals have received ServSafe Food Handler certificates. By enriching the traditional curriculum with hands-on cooking activities to reinforce key concepts the WhirliDogs’ ServSafe Food Handler course boasts an impressive 100% passing rate.There is a waiting list of clients ready to attend.

Appropriate board members with experience in the right areas. The WhirliDogs Board of Directors has over 100 years of combined
experience in education. Many also have experience working with Special Education, Exceptional Children Programs, as well as job
placement programs. The volunteer Project Manager is a National Board Certified teacher of Exceptional Children with experience working with individuals with disabilities from preschool to college.

Through the pilot program at an area facility forty persons with disabilities have earned the Servsafe Food Handler Training certificate, Another twenty individuals have earned the Working Smart certificate. WhirliDogs have participated in several community events by serving their hot dogs with the help of their students and volunteers.

During the shutdown caused by Covid-19, WhirliDogs provided a weekly social activity for children with disabilities by partnering with a local high school and establishing a "Circle of Friends" Zoom club. This provided fun socialization to those youth who had the most difficulty dealing with isolation.

Also because the pandemic caused disproportionate hardship on youth finding summer employment, WhirliDogs hosted a free 3 week online Job Camp that met twice a week for 45 minutes using the Zoom format. Keeping with their mission of providing vocational training, sessions were open to first time job seekers anywhere, who were either currently in high school or recently graduated. Discussions and activities covered; Career Exploration Tools, Personal Branding, Networking, Interviewing and Handling Finances. Several leaders from the business community joined us to share their expertise. Groups were limited to 8-10 students per 3 week session to provide individualized support. They were inclusive camps offered to young adults with all abilities.

Financials

WhirliDogs Training Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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WhirliDogs Training Center

Board of directors
as of 02/14/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Martha Wrenn

Retired Executive Director of Programs for Exceptional Children in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools

Term: 2019 - 2023

Gloria Vazquez

Retired English as a Second Language and World Languages Coordinator in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools

Natalie Catala

Associate Agent, Robbins Insurance Group

Matt Edwards

CEO of the Wilson Spot Youth Services Organization

Jackson Stone

Morehead-Cain Scholar at UNC

Coalter Paxton

Owner Paxton Storage

Adriana Barwick

Consumer Representative

Dante Pittman

Director of Human Relations for the city of Wilson

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/26/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability