About Us

More than four decades of evidence-based initiatives


Our Story

WAP was born out of a discussion between labor leaders who were seeking to combat alcoholism and drug use among union members. In 1977, WAP was incorporated as a nonprofit in Austin, TX and secured its first contract with a union that same year. Terry Cowan became CEO in 1984 and introduced the nonprofit enterprise model, acquiring the PAL program in 1987 and winning the HIV Connection contract with the State of Texas in 1992.

By this time, WAP’s original services for union members had blossomed into a full-service Employee Assistance Program for enterprise customers named WAP EAP. The nineties saw the opening of satellite offices in Houston, Arlington and Oklahoma City. The latter serves as a base of operations for the Child Care Food Program contract with the State of Oklahoma, which was awarded in 1999.

In the early 2000s WAP acquired additional EAPs and merged them with WAP EAP, forming Alliance Work Partners. The Youth Advocacy program was acquired by WAP in 2004, and the Coordinated Training Services contract was awarded by the State of Texas the following year. The next decade saw the opening of the Arizona office in 2010, the retirement of Terry Cowan in 2014, and the hiring of CEO Debra Ellison. In 2020, Dwayne Smetzer became the new CEO of WAP.

Culture and Values

We demonstrate the highest level of integrity in all of our business relationships, and total client satisfaction is the cornerstone of our service delivery.

Our workplace culture is driven by the business philosophy of Servant Leadership, which focuses on the growth and development of staff as the key to success.

We value the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our staff and encourage open dialog at all levels of the organization. Our long-standing Open-Door Policy provides a channel for new ideas to circulate, ensuring our continued relevance as an organization during times of change.

Job Opportunities

Workers Assistance Program, Inc has 3 openings at this time. We have 2 Intake & Referral Counselor positions (fully remote) and 1 Youth Outreach Specialist (must be bilingual in Spanish and also have the ability to travel in the Austin, TX area to support youth and their families.

part-time and full-time Intake & Referral Counselor


A Bachelors Degree in Social Work or another human services-related field is preferred but license or certification in a mental health or chemical dependency field may be substituted for a degree.  Experience in information and referral service delivery or crisis hot lines preferred.  Employee will need skills in communication, problem resolution, and proper telephone etiquette. Background, experience or knowledge in some or all of the following areas:

  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Crisis intervention
  • Chemical dependency


Under the general supervision of the Call Center Director, the Intake & Referral Counselor will be responsible for the following:

Client Services:

Initial telephone assessment for all clients including following up with clients when necessary

Provide community resources to clients

Assign clients to counselor/affiliate for an assessment

Schedule client appointments

Return calls to mental health professionals

Deliver crisis counseling over the phone when appropriate

Assist clients with additional referrals when necessary

Maintain appropriate client records

Maintain an up-to-date community resource database

Update the abbreviation list for Austin area contracts

Aid in retrieving answering service messages

Take messages for counselors when necessary

Call community resources for additional information

Inform Director of Client Services of changes in client/affiliate information, help in training and fielding questions from new intake staff.

Aid in developing new organizational systems for I & R and clinical staff.

Notify Case Management department and I & R supervisors of crisis, procedural referral, chemical dependency, and managed care cases.

$16-17 per hour – fully remote

Youth Advocacy Bilingual Community Outreach Specialist


Bachelor’s degree from accredited college/university in areas of education, human/social

services, counseling or related field preferred plus two years of professional experience in

substance use/misuse prevention. An additional 2 years of related experience may be

substituted for a degree. Experience should include working with high-risk /minority

youth and families and leading/facilitating instructive and interactive groups of youth and

adults, preferably in areas of substance abuse/misuse prevention. Position also requires

effective written and oral communication skills; ability to plan, organize, and deliver

training and technical assistance services; ability to use independent judgment; work as a

team player; a working knowledge of curriculum development; and knowledge of risk

and protective factors when addressing substance use/misuse and family dynamics.

Reliable transportation and willingness to use personal vehicle in the performance of

duties. Ability and willingness to work an irregular schedule; Bilingual in

Spanish/English required. Must become certified as a Prevention Specialist within 24

months of hire.


Under the supervision and direction of the Youth Advocacy Director, the Specialist is

responsible for the following:

Coordinating/Planning: Help organize, plan and coordinate activities for the program to

ensure that contract objectives are met. Staff will establish contacts and referral sources

and promote the program within the target area to ensure the consistent flow of program

participants. Will coordinate with other service providers, schools, local area agencies,

and/or community stakeholders to establish and enhance networking relationships. Will

maintain a data collection system to ensure compliance with contractual documentation

and reporting requirements.

Facilitation/Public Speaking: Facilitate professional educational/skills building sessions

to youth and adults using the curriculum on a scheduled basis. Provide presentations to

community regarding program services. Conduct training in areas including but not

limited to: substance use/misuse prevention; family strengthening skills; interpersonal

skill building; communication skills; building resiliency; healthy relationship building.

Adapt training delivery to fit the needs of the target audience; can deliver assigned

training independently, if needed. Training responsibilities also include informational

presentations; conference workshops and special advanced training courses as required.

Have ultimate responsibility for all details of training activity including contract forms

and required documentation; preparation of presentation material and equipment; such as

use of PowerPoint and creating activities and ice breakers.

Resource Development: Assists with development or revision of presentation materials

including but not limited to curricula, presentation/workshop outlines, and print media.

Recommends new program ideas, designs, and models that are age appropriate and

culturally sensitive to meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Compile and maintain

the community resource list to share with participants. Social Media savvy; contribute to

consistency in social media presence.

Technical Assistance (TA) and Support: Provide support to youth, their families, school

administration, community partners, stakeholders or to any others seeking information

about YA services and mission in a timely manner. Modes of TA may include, but are

not limited to, conducting site visits or needs assessments; providing timely responses to

questions and concerns via phone, email, or fax.

Direct Service: Facilitates educational/skills building sessions/workshops to youth and

adults using the scientific based curriculum on a scheduled basis. Provides presentations

to community regarding program services. Attend evening/weekend community

fairs/events. Conduct outreach in the target community for recruitment and program

awareness. Assists in preparation and clean-up when program activities are conducted.

Conduct alternative activities and Community-Based Education and mobilization

activities. Provide participant transportation as needed.