About Us

More than four decades of evidence-based initiatives

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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.


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