WorkAbility III – WAIII
Due to campus closures resulting from COVID-19 all WorkAbility III services have moved online temporarily. Please contact the program coordinator with any questions.
WorkAbility III (WAIII) is a joint program of the College of Alameda (COA) and the State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) designed to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Student Accessibility Services HOURS and Location
Monday – Friday:
8:00-4:00 (hours may vary through June-July)
Scheduled Summer 2021 Services Closures: July 5 (Independence Day – observed)
College of Alameda Career and Employment Center
College of Alameda
555 Ralph Appezzato Memorial Pkwy, Alameda, CA 94501
What is WorkAbility III?
WorkAbility III (WAIII) programs are established between select California community colleges and the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). WAIII programs serve individuals with disabilities who are both community college students and DOR consumers desiring employment. Participants are referred to the WAIII program by their DOR vocational rehabilitation counselor for enhanced, coordinated vocational services to help them obtain meaningful employment. WorkAbility III was started at the College of Alameda in 1994 and has since assisted over 1200 clients of the Department of Rehabilitation to gain employment. This program has consistently performed well, being one of the tops in the state since its inception. WA staff is experienced in developing job opportunities in all occupations and at all levels of training.
Who is eligible for WorkAbility III
Participants in the program must be State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) clients and be referred by their DOR counselor to be eligible for services. All participants must also be eligible to enroll as COA students.
If you are a student and you are not yet a client of the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), please contact an office near you to schedule an appointment with an intake counselor. To apply online or for more information, visit the DOR website or call 510-622-2764 to become a client.
What services are available to job seekers?
Many participants think that having a certificate or degree will open the doors to employment. However, work experience (such as internships or volunteer opportunities), learning effective job search techniques, and workplace professionalism are very important factors that can help you reach your career goal!
WAIII is here to help support you with gaining all these workplace skills, increasing your chance of getting an awesome job that fits your education, skills, strengths, and interests.
Our job developers work with participants to explore and evaluate their education, work history, interests, skills, and personality. A thoughtful approach to factoring in the abilities, limitations, and potential accommodations for the participant’s disability is also utilized. Our staff is well-experienced in working with diverse individuals who may also encounter challenges related to their criminal history, lack of work history or gaps in employment, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) systems.
Employment Preparation, Job Development, Placement, and Retention
We provide students with the necessary tools for them to become successful in their job search via weekly online job search workshop. This workshops covers wide variety of job search-related topics. This can include how to create or modify effective job search tools such as a resume, cover letter/letter of interest, a “master application”, and the development of a portfolio, when applicable. We provide job leads, and information for college and community job fairs, conduct mock interview workshops, assist individuals with developing appropriate/professional workplace behavior, employer outreach, and referrals, and more!
Our job developers monitor participants’ progress once they have become employed for a minimum of 90 days. We focus on teaching job retention strategies and remain available to assist students after they have been hired. We can visit the workplace, as appropriate, and can be brought on to consult with the student’s employer/supervisor/team if requested by the student.
Work Experience and Internships
Participants who are pursuing their education or training with PCCD or with other colleges are highly encouraged to combine education and work experience. Our staff can assist students in securing volunteer work experience, on-the-job training, and/or internships related to their career objective or goal to enhance marketability upon graduation or completion of their training.
WorkAbility also participates in the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), which is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Our staff members are well-versed in accommodation recommendations in the workplace. Our program staff can teach students to self-advocate to receive the necessary accommodations for the job application and interview process and as required to perform essential functions of their job. Learn more about workplace accommodations at the Job Accommodation Network.
Requesting WorkAbility III Services
If you think WorkAbility III (WAIII) is the right fit for you, there are multiple ways you can get connected.
Option 1: Drop-In Sessions
If you’d like to learn more about our program and how we can help you reach your career goals, come to our WAIII Drop-In Information Sessions!
When: Every Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 12:00 pm to 1.00 pm
Where: Virtually on Zoom (join using your phone or computer)
Option 2: Email or Call
WAIII Coordinator: Neelam Agarwal
Phone: (510) 543-2476
Option 3: Request an appointment with WorkAbility III
P: (510) 543-2476 or (510) 748-2138
Neelam Agarwal, WorkAbility III Coordinator
Laura Spencer Vacca, WorkAbility III Job Developer
For more information on becoming a WorkAbility III Participant:
Call your Department of Rehabilitation counselor to be referred to the program. If you are not a Department of Rehabilitation client visit to the California State Department of Rehabilitation website or call 510-622-2764 to become a client.