May 21, 2019
The Erie Center for Arts and Technology (ECAT) is one such model. Recently in the headlines, ECAT is a nonprofit organization that functions as a community-based educational arts and career training facility. ECAT inspires, educates, and empowers individuals through adult job training and creative programs for at-risk youth. Adults and youth alike are set on a path to becoming productive and successful members of the community. Local businesses benefit from a specialized pipeline as trained individuals matching current and projected needs of employers become available to enter the workforce. UPMC Hamot looks forward to filling medical assistant openings with ECAT graduates.
In late April, ECAT secured an agreement with the Erie School District to purchase the former Wayne School as their new home. Once renovated, the building will serve as a hub for health care, job training, arts education, and opportunity for many of Erie's underprivileged residents. Renovation plans include space for training and programming as well as expanded space for Wayne Primary Care, a community health center. The addition of an on-site pharmacy will complement the health care setting. A vacant floor is under consideration for transformation into a day care operation.
Located across the street from East Middle School and Wayne Park, the Wayne School building represents a strategic investment in Erie's East Side neighborhood. Understanding that research literature links poverty conditions and poor health, Hamot Health Foundation seeks to bring health care to those who need it most. Partnering with ECAT as they endeavor to empower lives makes good community sense.