A-DA's mission is "to provide vocational skills training and educational advancement for youth, military veterans, and adults with disabilities and to assist them in finding employment and overcoming barriers to personal and financial self-sufficiency." - Since 1975
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Get certified. Get a job. Get paid to learn.

Apprenticeships are designed as “earn and learn” training experiences that combine work-based learning with technical instruction using the highest industry standards. While 75 years ago, the early apprenticeship system began in construction and other skilled trades, the 21st century apprenticeships provide learning on-the- job for more than 1,000 occupations. In the U.S. today, there are 450,000 apprentices working for 150,000 companies.   The Pathways2Paychecks program of Able-Disabled Advocacy (A-DA) is part of a federal initiative to double the number of apprenticeships over the next five years and prepare American workers for highly technical jobs. As a workforce solutions training innovator, Able-Disabled Advocacy (A-DA) is proud to establish the first IT apprenticeships in the State of California. To apply for the program, please fill out program interest form below:
Program Interest Form

Free Training and Paid On-the-Job Learning

Apprenticeships have two major components: technical instruction and On-the-Job Learning (OJL). Our Computer Support Specialist apprentices have skills to bring to employers because their classroom training is provided prior to their starting work. This initial training is called Pre-apprenticeship training. Once our pre-apprentices complete two certifications, they can advance to an apprenticeship placement with an employer and begin to earn wages. The expected time frame to complete that initial training step is six months; however, it may be completed sooner depending on the motivation and skill level of the apprentice. Individuals can get credit for previous education and work experience that will allow them to advance more quickly through the apprenticeship. Apprentices can earn multiple IT certifications and obtain one year of paid work experience in A-DA’s 18-month apprenticeship program. With our American Apprenticeship Initiative grant funding, A-DA offers free technical instruction to our Computer Support Specialist apprentices.  This training takes place at A-DA’s main office in San Diego.

Learning is linked to industry–recognized credentials

  • A+
  • Network+
  • Security+
  • Operating systems certifications (Windows Configuring & Enterprise Desktop Support Technician)
  • Server certifications
  Our staff will work to find employers who will hire our apprentices for 12 months. An apprenticeship is a job! With IT certifications in hand and a year’s worth of work experience, A-DA’s Computer Support Specialists will be well-positioned to work in the IT career field. We promote the concept of “lifelong learning” and we encourage our apprentices to stay current with changing technologies by obtaining additional IT certifications after their apprenticeship ends.   In support of the U.S. Department of Labor’s directive to include individuals from groups that are underserved in apprenticeship training, priority will be given to individuals with disabilities, Veterans and women.  We encourage all who are interested to apply. What qualifies as a disability?


Minimum Age 21
Maximum Age There is no maximum age to train as an apprentice. Individuals of any age are encouraged to apply.
Education A High School diploma or GED is required.  We encourage applicants to attend postsecondary education prior to apprenticeship application; however, it is not required. Proof of education must be submitted.  Education and work experience will be evaluated; apprentices can receive credit for previous education and work experience.
Background Check Apprentices must be able to pass a drug screen and background check.
Experience Experience is not required. Applicants who have some experience may score higher on the testing and interviews.

 Application Process

There are several steps to complete to participate in the apprenticeship program. In order to get on A-DA’s list of potential apprenticeship applicants, those interested need to complete the online Interest Form. The link to the form is: All individuals who wish to apply for A-DA’s apprenticeships must attend an orientation prior to consideration as an apprenticeship applicant.  We want applicants to understand how the program will benefit them. If applicants are to take advantage of all the training experiences and certifications that can be earned, they will need to be committed to complete the entire program. Call (619) 231-5990 to find out the date of the next apprenticeship orientation.    
Interest Form Click on the link below and fill in the Program Interest Form. Then send a copy of your resume to We will contact you shortly.
Orientation Applicants are required to attend an apprenticeship orientation.
Documents Applicants will need to complete: 1) A-DA application form; 2) questions about you; and 3) resume. Applicants must show: 1) high school diplomas or GED; 2) college transcript if applicable; 3) I-9 documents that show proof of the right to work in the United States; 4) documents that show proof of disability; and 5) DD214 or VA documents that show Veteran status.
Testing All applicants will be given a reading, math and PC skills assessment tests.  Test scores will determine the placement on an eligibility list.
Interviews Two interviews by the Selection Committee are required.  Scores from the interviews will determine placement on an eligibility list.
Program Interest Form

Apprenticeship Participant Brochure

Share information about A-DA’s apprenticeship program with someone that you know.
Apprenticeship Participant  Brochure

Training Location

Training classes will take place at A-DA’s main office located at 4283 El Cajon Blvd. Ste. 110, San Diego, CA 92105.  Attendance at classroom training session is required and IT training tracks require completion of online coursework.  It will be helpful to have a home computer or laptop with Internet access.  Students are welcome to use A-DA’s computers from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Security Clearances

We expect that some employers will require Secret security clearances for the apprentices that they hire. Individuals who do not meet that requirement will not be placed in jobs with those employers.  Veterans will be strong candidates for those hires.

College Courses are Encouraged

Able-Disabled Advocacy has eight years of experience conducting IT and project management training and providing employment services funded by federal, state, and corporate grants. These programs have high expectations of employment. Our local IT industry employers have high standards for hiring IT workers, even for the entry-level positions of Technical Support Representative and Help Desk. Job postings almost always list experience, a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, Networking, Information Systems or other technology major, and a list of IT certifications as the job requirements. San Diego is a technology-savvy region with many institutions of higher education including University of California San Diego, San Diego State University, University of San Diego, California San Marcos, Pt. Loma University, National University, ITT Tech, Coleman University, and others.  Employers can find individuals who have had postsecondary training. Generally a Bachelor-level degree is expected with about 10% of employers asking for an Associate degree. Since we are attempting to introduce the first IT apprentices in our region, we are mindful of these expectations.  We want employers to embrace this new training model and we want to provide a quality candidate for them. We support the attainment of college degrees for those who desire to work in the IT field.

Pathways2Paychecks Apprenticeship Leaders

  • San Diego Workforce Partnership
  • The Maritime Alliance
  • San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence
  • San Diego Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association
  • Project Management Institute–San Diego Chapter
  • South County Economic Development Council
  • California College San Diego
  • Coleman University
  • UCSD Extension
  • California Inter-Agency Taskforce on Apprenticeship Expansion
  • California Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Apprenticeship Standards
  • U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeships

Coming Soon

A-DA is working on developing Advanced Manufacturing and Project Management apprenticeships. We are NOT accepting applications for those occupations at this time.