Freedom House Foundations

Explore healthcare jobs right here in Erie, PA

Program Details
Next Start Date

July 15th, 2024

Tuition Cost

No cost


Monday-Friday, 9AM-2:30PM at ECAT, 650 East Ave.

5 weeks

This no-cost 5-week program provides an introduction to a variety of career paths in the growing healthcare industry. Graduates are prepared to apply for jobs available in Erie County.

ENRollment opens march 25th, 2024

Applications will be accepted March 25th – June 15th at 11:45PM. Please review the program requirements before submitting an application.


This program is perfect for individuals looking to begin their career in the healthcare industry, but would benefit from learning about the types of jobs available. Along with classroom activities, like learning medical terminology, students will also be given the opportunity to shadow a variety of jobs in the healthcare field.

You will graduate confident you have the language, understanding, and support system to start your career in the healthcare industry!

Healthcare Careers

This program prepares graduates to apply for jobs as a medical assistant, patient care technician, community health worker, and more. You will also have a great jump start on medical education should you choose a career in EMS, nursing, or other healthcare fields.

In addition, Freedom House is an accredited Community Health Worker training program through the PA Certification Board. This program meets the education requirements to become a Certified Community Health Worker (CHW). Graduates who work as a CHW for 1 year upon graduation may apply for certification in the state of Pennsylvania.

Graduates will be strong applicants for ECAT’s healthcare Clinical Medical Assisting and Sterile Processing programs.

Program Details

Our curriculum consists of basic anatomy and physiology, assessment and treatment of basic medical emergencies, CPR, First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, and a variety of other public health topics, social and behavioral sciences, and long-term case management concepts.

This program is sponsored by UPMC Health Plan and facilitated by ECAT.


Freedom House Foundations is a 5-week program with a weekly commitment of 132 hours: 100 in-person hours and 32 virtual. Two sessions are offered per year, spring and summer.

Sessions take place Monday-Friday 9AM-2:30PM at the Erie Center for Arts & Technology.


First day of classes: Monday, March 18th, 2024

Last day of classes: Friday, April 19th, 2024


First day of classes: Monday, July 15th, 2024

Last day of classes: Friday, August 16th, 2024


This is a tuition-free program, sponsored by UPMC Health Plan.

Students are provided all necessary tools and equipment needed to complete modules.

Costs associated with driver’s license or PA State ID, and/or diplomas are the applicant’s responsibility.

Additional Support

Our program includes a dedicated Student Support Specialist that helps remove barriers that might get in the way of your success. For 90 days following completion of the program, our Specialist will follow up with graduates to ensure they have the support they need to apply for jobs, transition to employment in the healthcare industry, and acclimate to their new roles and responsibilities.

We also utilize the UPMC for You “Pathways to Work” program, which assists with:

  • resume writing
  • interview preparation
  • skills assessment
  • guidance on free workforce training opportunities at UPMC
  • help with applying for jobs at UPMC


This program is named after the Freedom House Ambulance Service formed in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in the 1960’s: a program that paved the way for both educating underserved populations and for the development of our modern-day EMS system. It is the first replication of the original training program, which is located in Allegheny County, and has been adapted for our Erie community by ECAT.

Health and Safety

Masking and/or proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required at certain times throughout the program. Unvaccinated students may have limited observational or job shadowing opportunities. 

Program Requirements

To participate in Freedom House Foundations you must:

  • Be a resident of Erie County, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, at least 18 years of age.
  • Be legally eligible for employment in the United States.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
  • Possess a valid photo ID: drivers license, passport, state-issued identification card, military ID, tribal ID

Contact Us

Stacy Smith
Student Support Specialist

The Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT) is a community-based educational arts and career training facility that inspires, educates and empowers people of all ages with adult job training and creative youth programs.




Erie Center for Arts & Technology
650 East Avenue, Suite 120
Erie, PA 16503

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM