A-DA's mission is "to provide vocational skills training and educational advancement for youth 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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TechWORKS can offer IT professionals the ability to advance their career through attainment of a wide range of IT certifications. Able-Disabled Advocacy has partnered with the San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF) to provide training to 200 individuals. SDFF is a non-profit organization that provides equipment, software, training, services, and technical support to San Diego nonprofits, small businesses, and disadvantaged residents. SDFF is working to bridge the digital divide in San Diego, and helps low-income households, people with disabilities, and seniors. SDFF currently offers two IT training tracks to scholarship recipients – Windows 7 Administrator and Network+.

A-DA’s office location for TechWORKS training is 4283 El Cajon Boulevard Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92105. SDFF’s training lab is next door at 4275 El Cajon Boulevard on the second floor. Coordination of services will be easy because of the close proximity of service locations.

Both A-DA and SDFF offer IT training; however, SDFF’s primary focus is training. In addition to training, A-DA provides a wide range of services to all TechWORKS students. These include: eligibility certification, development of a specialized learning plan, case management, support services, Job Readiness Training (Job Search classes), placement in internships, job search assistance, and employment follow-ups. A-DA has the ability to offer advanced IT training to experienced participants who are living with a disability on an independent study basis. Linux, CBAP (Business Analysis), SAP, VMware, Cloud Computing, .NET Framework, and Voice Over IP are just a few possibilities. Those seeking such specialized training are encouraged to see if a course of study is available. Permission of the instructor is required for these independent study courses.

Training Options
TechWORKS offers training options for the IT occupations listed below. Microsoft Certifications are offered at two levels: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and the more advanced Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP).

IT Technician
Certification: CompTIA A+
Network Technician
Certification: CompTIA Network+
Windows 7 Support Technician
Certification: MCTS Windows 7 Configuring
Help Desk Technician
Certification: MCITP Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
Information Assurance Technician
Certification: CompTIA Security+
Information Assurance Professional
Certification: (ISC)2 Certified Information Security Professional (CISSP)
Server Technician
Certification: MCITP Server 2008 Administrator or CompTIA Server+
Microsoft Database Management
Certification: MCTS Database Management
Project Management
Certification: Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
Healthcare IT Technician
Certification: CompTIA Healthcare IT. Blending of Healthcare data management and IT skills. Requires A+ Certification and previous IT experience.
Independent Study for Advanced Specialty Tracks
Certification: Linux, CBAP (Business Analysis), SAP, VMWare, Cloud Computing, .NET Framework, Voice Over IP (VOIP) and more. Ask about other specialized training. Permission of instructor required.
Electronic Health Records Certification Program at AIU for experienced healthcare professionals. Complete online courses, assignments and achieve test proficiency.


Enrollment Requirements
We have scholarships for disabled and non-disabled individuals. We encourage veterans to apply. Certain training courses are available only for disabled invididuals.

Applicants must meet All requirements below:

    • Reside in San Diego County and have the desire to work in IT or Healthcare
    • Be unemployed for 27 weeks or more or be considered underemployed (not performing jobs duties consistant with previous employment in your career field or working partime and wanting to work fulltime)
    • Have some postsecondary education
    • Two years previous work experience in the field of training (either IT or healthcare)
    • Be self–directed (can complete tasks/assignments on time)
    • Be comfortable with online training
    • Able to attend daytime classroom meetings in San Diego City Heights locations, 9 to 12 hours per week attendance required 


Anyone who has a question about possible eligibility is encouraged to call A-DA at (619) 231-5990, ext. 315. This is not an entry-level training program; applicants must have a combination of education and work experience to be able to get a job beyond entry-level.

Program Components

TechWORKS provides a comprehensive array of services that are designed to help the unemployed get back to work.

1. Online & Classroom Training

The length of time spent on classroom training varies widely depending on the certification goal of the student. A customized learning plan will be developed for each student that details assignments and activities and their due dates. Online courses will be utilized and students may have hands on activities as well. A-DA uses an Open Entry/Open Exit format so that students are able to start at any time. SDFF classes follow a traditional instructional format with a new class beginning about once each quarter.

2. Attainment of Industry Certifications

IT certifications validate knowledge and experience and they are recognized throughout the computer industry as verification of competence. Every scholarship recipient is expected to successfully certify within the timeframe in their learning plan. Some learning tracks require passing more than one exam. Students may be allowed to take more than one certification with approval of the instructor (one at a time). Both A-DA and SDFF will assist students in studying for the certification exams. A-DA’s Skillsoft courses have a Test Preparation component that is designed to help students review all of the content covered by the exam.

3. Internships

Placement in internships with local companies provides valuable work experience for students. Internships may be paid or non-paid and they typically are arranged for 160 to 200 hours. Students often work 15-20 hours per week depending on the needs of the employer. Internships are usually given for lower-level IT tracks. For those students learning server administration and security, opportunities are limited, as companies are often reluctant to have novices work on their servers. Those students, and other taking advanced courses, may inquire about the possibility of an internship placement. Those placed in internships are expected to treat their work as if it was a job. Interns must work their scheduled hours and perform their work diligently. They may ask the employer for a letter of reference upon completion of their internship. This is good experience to add to a resume.

4. Employment Assistance

Staff members are available to help students transition to permanent jobs. Job Search classes teach up-to-date job search skills for today’s challenging job market. Students are asked to attend these classes while completing their IT training. By the time they have completed their training, students have completed these classes and they will have the items they need to commence looking for a job: resume, cover letter, reference list, and master job application. Classes are held every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The courses are listed below.

  • Fundamentals of Job Search
  • Searching for a Job on the Internet
  • Reading Job Descriptions
  • Tailoring Resumes and Cover Letters
  • Elevator speech and Phone Screening
  • Preparing for Job Interviews
  • Keeping Your Job
  • Fundamentals of Customer Service
  • Fundamentals of Human resources
  • Federal Job Applications
  • Social Networking


Our Employment Specialist will assist students in their job search. He works one-on-one to prepare individuals for specific interviews and will review job application materials. He also makes connections with local employers in order to identify possible opportunities for our students. For those employed, students can discuss any issues that may arise on the job. He can suggest strategies to deal with the situation. He contacts students to obtain information about continued employment. Employment follow-up continues for 12 months.

Training and Services Able-Disabled Advocacy Alliant International University San Diego Futures Foundation
A+ X
Network+ X X
Server+ X
Security+ and CISSP X
MCITP Server Administration X X
Windows 7 Configuring X X
Database Administration X
Healthcare IT X
Electronic Health Records X
Advanced Training Independent Study X
Job Search Classes X X
Internship Placement X X
Employment Assistance X X


How to Apply

Applicants need to review the program information provided on this website. Please read it carefully. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, you will find an application of interest on the site. Once you complete the form, it will be reviewed and you will be advised of the next steps in the application process. Review the instructions thoroughly. We will be assessing your suitability for the program. Each step of our process helps us learn more about you, your goals, skills, and abilities. Please note the timeframes for completion of application tasks. TechWORKS is a demanding program for those motivated to learn.

Funding Source

TechWORKS is funded in full by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The award amount is $3,047,634 over a four-year period. TechWORKS is an equal opportunity/employer program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to persons with disabilities.

TechWORKS Training Options