Workers Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP Blog

Category: AWP - Alliance Work Partners

AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, Employee Spotlight

Spotlight on a Trainer: AWP’s Caitlin Tyler-Harris

Workers Assistance Program has several programs aimed at providing valuable, educational trainings to AWP customers, prevention professionals, students, and teachers. AWP, HIV Connection, and PAL® deliver trainings on a variety of topics from smoking cessation to hepatitis to peer mediation. Our in-house trainers travel across Texas and the country delivering our trainings and curricula. They are our road warriors and some of the biggest personalities in the office. We hope you enjoy getting to know them a little better. 

What’s your favorite snack for the road?

Roasted, salted pistachios? Can eat one-handedly, no napkin or fork required. Eureka.

What’s your favorite training?

Assertive Communication. Just can’t find more good things to say about any one training in our catalog. For me, it’s the seed from which all our other trainings grew. Boom.

What’s your most memorable post-training story/interaction with a participant?

Generally, it’s cool when you get to talk to folks following a training and address a question that has been on their mind, or to sometimes refer them back to the services their EAP offers. It’s good to know that when a training with a work group ends, I have highly skilled colleagues there to assist folks in their individual needs. No one left behind… that kind of thing. It was also nice when an older woman told me after a training, “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

What’s the best part of training?

When – hopefully – you get to see the light bulb go off. While the PowerPoint may always be the same, the shared, collective moments you have with a group, as you discuss some pretty weighty topics at times, is always different.

Cruise control or no cruise control?

No cruise control in my car. My foot gets tired sometimes.

What’s the one thing that you can’t live without on the road?

My chanclas. I have an inherent mistrust of hotel room floors.

Favorite place to stop on the road? 

My grandmother’s house. She lives halfway between Austin and Waco, makes a mean pimento cheese sandwich, and is genuinely supportive of anything I’m doing with my life. You just can’t get that at a 7-11, man.

Do you listen to books on tape, music, or podcasts on the road? If yes, what are you listening to lately?

Sometimes I listen to music; but I’m mostly an audiobooker during long road trips. I’m listening to The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, parallel murder mystery stories involving Arthur Conan Doyle (ca. 1910), and a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast (ca. 2010). It’s great.

What do you do on the road between trainings and sleep — free HBO, pool time, practice dance moves?

If they’re nearby, I like to meet up with family or friends for dinner. There are a few advantages to work travel. Getting a chance to see feed-your-soul folks you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to is one of them.

What sort of ritual do you have before you leave for the road?

I have to clean the whole house. The. Whole. House. Vacuum, laundry, dusting, clean the bird cage… The works. Sometimes I hide candy or gum for spousey to find while I’m gone. You know… so he doesn’t forget about me.

What’s your spirit animal?

I don’t know what a spirit animal is. My Patronus is a macaw.


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, WAP

WAP joins the Austin Independent Business Alliance!

WAP is pleased to announce that we have joined hundreds of other like-minded and socially conscious, Austin-owned businesses by joining the Austin Independent Business Alliance (AIBA). The mission of AIBA is “to promote and support locally owned businesses through advocacy, consumer educations and services to our members.” They have created 8 IBIZ Districts® in Austin to spotlight areas filled with locally owned businesses. With an uncertain economy, local buying is more important than ever before. For every $100 spent with a national chain, only about $13 goes to the local economy, compared to $45 when buying from a locally owned business. Join us in letting our voices be heard about the importance of buying locally. Visit and find local vendors that meet your needs. And while you are there, check out the listing for Alliance Work Partners!


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Sarah Hernandez


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight – Ken Downie


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, WAP

A Closer Look at Alliance Work Partners

For over 35 years, Alliance Work Partners has provided businesses and their employees with access to counseling services and training courses at an affordable rate. Customized packages grant employers and employees alike access to legal aid and financial counseling. These services have helped businesses in all 50 states and Canada maintain happy and healthy workplaces for decades.

Alliance Work Partners does not turn anyone away. A donation to Workers Assistance Program could be routed to Alliance Work Partners to provide emergency services for individuals without coverage under their current employer or grief counseling in sudden tragic situations where it is needed but not available.

Alliance Work Partners is critical to Workers Assistance Program’s mission of creating better workplaces, schools, and communities. Please, consider donating to Workers Assistance Program during Amplify Austin between March 4th at 7:00pm and 5th at 7:00pm. Your donation could make the world of difference to an employee or employer aspiring to improve their lives.


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog

Checking In With AWP Teams

Account Management successfully made it through another health fair season, attending fairs all over the state and country in support of clients. Rumor has it Sonja will be dressing a live turkey in clothes for Thanksgiving this year, too.

The call center will get a new technologically advanced phone system installed by January 1 and are all very excited about the new system. Most of the Intake & Referral department has also signed up to do the Color Me Rad 5k in December. Fingers crossed they’ll get all that color out of their hair before coming back on Monday!

Network Management, the rock stars that they are, has continued to build out the AWP counseling network to meet needs for potential clients in Oklahoma and DFW. In a real coup, Valerie and her husband got their wedding photo signed by Patrick Stewart and Bret raised a ton of money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America through the United Court of Austin.

Trainers Kelli and Travis navigated Superstorm Sandy airport closures to make it to Cleveland in the middle of the hurricane for DOT training. Our heroes!


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, Employee Spotlight, WAP

Employee Spotlight – Cole Noble


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog

Tarrant County College District Suicide Prevention Program

Alliance Work Partners and the Tarrant County College District have joined together to create a suicide prevention program for students at the Trinity campus. The free suicide prevention hotline is funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant Project. The Business Development and Account Management teams worked with TCCD staff to make this program a reality for Trinity students. Here is the poster that will hang on bulletin boards across the campus.


AWP - Alliance Work Partners, Blog, WAP

In Memory of Nicole Dumas

March 6, 1984 – October 26, 2012

One of the AWP account managers, Nicole Lynn Dumas, passed away on October 26 after a long fight with lung cancer. Nicole was a bright light in our workplace, always sharing a smile or a kind word with her coworkers. She was wholly committed to making work a better place for all, a trait evident in the decisions she made daily. Her zest for life and undaunted spirit were so evident to all of us who worked with her. Many people live their whole lives and never accomplish what she was able to do in a brief time on earth.

We’re celebrating her life today in the office with a memorial service and luncheon. Her full obituary is located here.