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.

Starting in May 2014, Debi Ellison lead Workers Assistance Program, Inc. as CEO. She began her career with WAP in 2001 and continued to garner knowledge and experience working within various departments within the agency. Under Debi’s leadership, WAP continued to grow and furthered agency exposure.  Debi continued to be CEO until 2020, at which time chose to pursue other endeavors.

Dwayne Smetzer became CEO of WAP beginning February 2020. Dwayne originally joined the team as Chief Operating Officer in January of 2015. With over 27 years of experience at various non-profit organizations, he has worked to improve workplaces, schools and communities both nationally and internationally. Workers Assistance Program, Inc. continues to flourish under his servant leadership style.

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

Youth Advocacy part-time Case Manager

If you are bilingual in English/Spanish and enjoy working out in the field with underprivileged youth and their families, this might be a good position for you. This position requires someone who will handle roughly 7-8 cases and meet with these kids/teens in their homes and at schools to provided assistance in things like finding a job, staying in school, working through their probation and more. Please see the job description below to see if you think you may be a good fit. This is a part-time position with up to 25 hours per week mostly out in the field with mileage reimbursement. The schedule is based mostly on the client needs and the Case Manager can determine what that looks like.


Bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or other behavioral/social science and two years experience working with high-risk youth and families and/or providing case management services. Bilingual in English/Spanish. Candidates should be flexible, client-oriented, and knowledgeable about Austin/Travis County communities.

Recognize the importance of social networks, family, and broader systems in working with clients. Candidates must have the ability to work independently, prioritize work responsibilities, and have strong organization abilities. Candidates should have reliable transportation, auto insurance and ability/willingness to use personal vehicle in the performance of job duties. Must be proficient in using computer software.


Case Management

Conduct assessment and service coordination for assigned clients and families.

Work with clients and families to identify goals, resources and needs and to develop service plan for each assigned case. Conduct home, school and agency visits.

Provide information and referrals to clients, link clients to appropriate agencies and resources, provide client advocacy in a variety of settings, and monitor service provision.

Appropriately assist clients with basic needs and provide advocacy when needed.

Provide direct services, which may include coaching, training, or other activities necessary for client engagement and positive outcomes. Evaluate client participation and progress and conduct discharge planning. Coordinate efforts with other service providers, schools, juvenile probation, and community agencies to help clients and families meet identified goals. Document client service activity and comply with all reporting requirements.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: $18.00 – $20.00 per hour

Expected hours: No more than 25 per week

Job Application