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I-CATCH receives $15 million grant over five years and Celebration of Accomplishment


CATCH Celebration of Accomplishment

Edmonds CC President Jean Hernandez presents a CATCH student with her certificate. From left: Charlie Crawford, Edmonds CC Executive Vice President for Instruction; Charles Thompson, CATCH Director; Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President; Terri Webb CATCH Administrative Assistant.

Edmonds College’s Innovations in Creating Access To Careers in Healthcare (I-CATCH), recently received a five-year $15 million healthcare training grant in partnership with Everett Community College and Skagit Valley College.

Through CATCH, students can gain in-demand health care skills along with computer and information literacy, study, critical thinking, problem solving, financial literacy, and communications skills.

CATCH is a multi-year, multi-million dollar federally funded initiative that began in 2010. It is managed by Edmonds College and boasts a rich local partnership.

The program’s goal is to serve 250 individuals each year; 120 at Edmonds CC, 80 at Everett CC and 50 at Skagit Valley College.

The demonstration project has two main goals:

  1. Provide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals the opportunity to obtain career pathway education and training for healthcare occupations that pay well.
  2. Provide the local healthcare industry with additional well-trained workers to meet labor shortages and high demand occupations.


“I am honored that Edmonds CC has been selected to continue working with the Office of Family Assistance in the Health Profession Opportunity Grant,” said Charles Thompson, CATCH Director, Creating Access To Careers in Healthcare.

“I am excited to have this new opportunity to use what we have successfully learned in the first five years of CATCH to expand our reach and open doors for others across three colleges and three counties in I-CATCH.”

The project serves TANF recipients and other low income (< 200% of federal poverty guidelines) individuals in Snohomish, Skagit, and Island counties for healthcare education and training from Edmonds CC, Everett CC and Skagit Valley College.

Healthcare training programs include, but are not limited to, nursing assistant, patient care technician, EKG technician, medical assisting, licensed practical nurse, registered nursing, phlebotomy technician, pharmacy technician, alcohol and chemical dependency prevention specialist, and medical billing specialist/medical office.

In addition to the three colleges, other partners include: Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, WorkFirst, Workforce Snohomish, Business Access (an in-home learning technology provider), Refugee and Immigrant Services Northwest, TRAC Associates, and over 100 other regional healthcare employers.

To address barriers of poverty that keep many individuals from having access to quality healthcare training, I-CATCH provides wrap-around case management support, utilizing regional community-based organizations, digital literacy and home technology, peer support cohorts, academic supports, and intrusive interventions to identify problems that keep students from completing.

Financial support is available that leverages or provides resources, including first quarter and emergency tuition, computers, uniforms, textbooks, transportation, and limited emergency support.

Employment navigators are tasked to work with local employers to identify job openings, assist participants in applying for positions, and provide additional job skill training.

The five-year, $15 million partnership is financed by a Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) from the Office of Family Assistance, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

I-CATCH recently held a Celebration of Accomplishment event on Wed., Oct. 21st, 6 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre.

The event honored 61 students from the last year who completed at least one healthcare certificate, although most have earned two or three. Some examples of the certificates earned are: Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, EKG Technician, and Patient Care Technician.

Approximately 150 people, including students and their families, were in attendance. Guest speakers included: Dr. Jean Hernandez, Edmonds CC President; Dr. David Beyer, Everett Community College President; Charles Thompson, CATCH Director; a student selected from Edmonds CC and Everett CC, and keynote speaker, Erin Monroe, CEO of Workforce Snohomish.