Zabs Place

Where Potential is Found

Charlotte, NC   |  www.ZABSPlace.org

Mission

Our mission is to help young adults with special needs harness their own special talents and prepare them to transition to rewarding careers and realize their dreams of leading meaningful lives.

Ruling year info

2022

Executive Director

Bentzion Groner

Director of Operations

Rochel Groner

Main address

6619 Sardis Rd

Charlotte, NC 28270 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

86-2748481

NTEE code info

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS filing requirement

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

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are roughly 66,000 adults with special needs live in Mecklenburg County with nearly 76% unemployed. ZABS Place is a nonprofit thrift boutique that addresses the critical shortage of employment opportunities for young adults with disabilities by providing jobs with personalized training. While there is a national effort to hire “individuals with disabilities”, when it comes to those who have intellectual or developmental differences the rate of success drops. Often, that is because the perception of their abilities is lower, the jobs available to them are outside their skill set or areas of interest, they have limitations in terms of the number of consecutive hours they can work, or there is a lack of awareness as to environmental considerations that may be needed for them to be successful in their role. For these reasons a staggering 80.7% of individuals with disabilities are unemployed.

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?

Talent Accelerator

Goals and dreams are great, but they are hard to achieve without a plan in place.

With the help of our ZABS Place “Talent Accelerator” program everyone's goals are broken down into relevant actionable tasks to work through and build upon. With reviews each day at work and completing the tasks, our specially talented young adults are able to visualize their progress resulting in a healthier self-esteem, a more positive outlook, stronger social skills, and an increased likelihood that he will gain lasting employment in their dream career.

ZABS Place's unique approach to individualized training allows us to both streamline and ensure our training program for each specially talented young adult reflects their unique abilities, dreams, goals, skill building, and progress.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Upcycling University hosts weekly inclusive classes to teach the skills and techniques of how to reuse unwanted items and turn them into new things that are better quality or more useful. Our ZABSprenuer Incubator guides individuals with Special Talents in developing and launching their own micro-businesses. We help them go from passion to product and support them in growing in a competitive market.

Population(s) Served

Our ZABSpreneur program supports differently-abled individuals, with a passion and a craft, in learning the skills they need to create a sellable product and start a micro-business. Our mission is to help our ZABSpreneurs become more financially independent members of the community.

Population(s) Served

Over the last few years the ZABS Place have been working overtime to develop a path towards successful placement of our ZABS Place Graduates. Our plan includes identifying and educating local businesses, empowering them to hire future ZABS Place Graduates.

Population(s) Served

A monthly social meetups called ZABS Place After Hours. We believe that work should be FUN. But, so should hanging out together! That’s why we’ve made a calendar of After Hours activities so we can spend some time together and share lots of laughs.

Population(s) Served

Friendship Circle, the social programming arm of ZABS Place, was established to focus on a critical need not being addressed by the educational system or healthcare professionals – the need for genuine friendship.

Our mission is to create real and lasting friendships between children & teens with special needs and their typically-developing peers. We are committed to building a more inclusive community by offering engaging opportunities for these “unlikely friends”' to meet and get to know each other. The benefits, for everyone involved, are clear and the impact is growing.

At the core of Friendship Circle is the cultivation of genuine friendships between typically developing teens and children with special needs.

To accomplish this, our friends meet once a week and spend time together enjoying various activities based on the child’s interests. We offer a variety of carefully designed group programs and therapeutic activities to enhance these friendships.

Population(s) Served

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 job skills training courses/workshops conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of employment placements defined as part-time (less than 35 hours per week)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Talent Accelerator

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of employment placements defined as temporary or seasonal

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Talent Accelerator

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of jobs created and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients passing job skill competency exams or assessments after completing course

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Talent Accelerator

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients placed in internships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients who complete job skills training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Talent Accelerator

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants who gain employment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of youth receiving services (e.g., groups, skills and job training, etc.) with youths living in their community

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

ZABS Place focuses on making career dreams come true for young adults with special needs talents. We help identify areas of talent and ability and work with each individual to help them become contributing members of the community in their area of talent.

Goals and dreams are not often realized unless they are recognized and appreciated by others. In our case, we need to build relationships with HR professionals looking to hire quality individuals to fill roles in their companies.

In the past, when we reached out to companies about hiring our graduating ZABS Special Talent, we were faced with many questions, most of which conveyed their doubt about whether our ZABS Talent could fit in and be an asset to their company, rather than a token member or a liability.

We aim to shift the thought process surrounding employability of individuals with Special Talents. Rather than being overlooked, they will be viewed as viable candidates for jobs in their area of interest and with their specific skill set. The number of employers using our portal, along with the number of Special Talent hired will be our best indicator of impact.


Solving the employment crisis for individuals with disabilities is somewhat of a Catch 22: It’s really hard to get a job without any work experience but it’s even harder to get work experience without a job… At ZABS Place we recognize that everyone and everything has value and we are committed to providing opportunities for young adults with special needs to identify and develop their own special talents in the warm environment of our store.

By assessing the interests and abilities of each individual, we are able to customize a training plan to harness their special talents and prepare them to transition into their dream careers. Over the last 6 years, we’ve trained and employed more than 150 Special Talent at ZABS Place and many have graduated and moved on to employment elsewhere.

ZABS Place's unique approach to individualized training allows us to both streamline and ensure our training program for each specially talented young adult reflects their unique abilities, dreams, goals, skill building, and progress.

There is numerous research indicating that when one successfully reaches milestones and accomplishes goals, their confidence and overall quality of life increases beyond their initial expectations.

By training our Talent to check their daily tasks, mark their own progress as they work, and leave anecdotal notes as needed, they’ll better appreciate every milestone and be able to celebrate every success. As Yogi Berra says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else!” It’s the difference between being the driver or the passenger. We want to empower our Special Talent to play a more active role in their training, skill development, and pursuit of their dreams instead of just riding along wherever opportunities take them.

We all know that interviews can be nerve wracking and that it’s hard to know if you’re good at something if you’ve never had a chance to try it. That’s why all young adults interested in ZABS Place start off in our 4-month “Talent-In-Training” program, whether they’re looking for job-skills training, or a paid position.

Here’s what happens:
Identify Dreams: We start with a Meet & Greet and ask our favorite question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We use the answer to understand their interests and aspirations.

Realize the Opportunity: With their dreams in mind, our coaches prepare a series of “Job- Sampling” tasks to introduce each trainee to job duties that appeal to their interests and skills while ensuring their support needs are met.

Customize Training: Based on the results and feedback of each trainee during their Job- Sampling phase, our coaches create a personalized training plan, built around individual ability, to teach and strengthen necessary transferable skills.

Grow Abilities: Our process continues with hands-on management to help trainees grow confident in their skills and master new ones.

Then what? That really depends. For some, our Talent-In-Training program offers just the experience they needed to gain confidence and be successful in a work-environment and they go on to apply to their dream job. For others, they may come back for another semester of training so they can continue improving their skills. Then there are those who show that retail, or one of the many other aspects of employment at ZABS Place, truly is their dream job, and when financially possible they are hired and become a member of the ZABS Talent team.

Graduate Success: Ultimately, for most of our ZABS Talent, our goal is to graduate our employees to careers across the community.

Over the last 6 years, we’ve had more than 150 Special Talent train or be employed at ZABS Place. Many of them graduated and moved on to employment elsewhere, but only half of those hired found employment doing something meaningful in their area of interest.

ZABS Place is focused on 5 strategic initiatives:
- Improve our Talent Accelerator Program: Our goal is to help each of our ZABS Talent (our specially-talented Young Adults) progress strategically in their talent and skill development to advance their careers. Each of our ZABS Talent has a clearly defined starting point as well as a desired goal.

- Upcycling University: Upcycling University is a platform that inspires the creativity of individuals with special talents by teaching them how to create masterpieces using everyday items. Art is an important outlet for self-expression and for people who might otherwise struggle to express themselves; art is especially important.

- ZABSprenuers: Our ZABS micro-business incubator program, launched in 2017,
supports specially-talented young adults who have a passion, a product idea, and need a “beta-testing” ground and sales platform. We guide our ZABSpreneurs through supply sourcing, quality assurance, cost/pricing determination, packaging & presentation, and marketing. We have a dedicated space in ZABS Place to feature the products of each of our ZABSpreneurs along with their photo and a brief bio. We currently have 14
ZABSpreneurs in the program, with plans for 50 by 2025.

- ZABSmentorz and Placement: In an effort to offer a greater level of support to our young adults as they discover their unique talents and pursue their dreams, we have started the ZABSmentor Program. Each participant is paired with a ZABSmentor, a “field-expert” from the community, who shares real-world insight into the day-to-day aspects of their mentee’s dream job and helps them break down the steps of how to achieve their goals. By harnessing the experience of community professionals, we are able to offer more relevant support and bridge the gap between our Special Talent and the careers they wish to pursue.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Individuals with disabilities and their neuro typical peers.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We focused more on job placement and less on job training due to feedback we received.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It allowed to create a culture of open communication and allowed us to openly share how we can improve.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Zabs Place

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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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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Zabs Place

Board of directors
as of 08/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Henry Lander

Caren Gale

Chales Gale

Lisa Shporer

Scott Brennan

Jonathan Massachi

Truist Bank

Darius Chase

South State Bank

Susan Schreiber

Friendship Circle

Yossef Groner

Chabad of Charlotte

George Alston

American Airlines

Benjamin Schwartz

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/5/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/05/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.