News & Updates

Erie Center for Arts & Technology Announces Its Inception

Posted on September 14th, 2018 at 1:50 PM
Erie Center for Arts & Technology Announces Its Inception

Erie, PA —9/14/18 The Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT) announces its inception, introduces the Board of Directors, and is commencing an immediate search for a full-time executive director to help the new organization open its doors in 2019. 

ECAT is a replication of the Pittsburgh-based Manchester Bidwell Corporation started by Bill Strickland to address the real challenges of poverty and despair through arts and training programs for disadvantaged high school students and adults. By using the visual arts as a tool of engagement and by providing training for gainful employment for adults, ECAT’s goal is to increase graduation and postsecondary education rates among Erie’s students and help unemployed and underemployed adults obtain life-changing careers, all at no cost to participants. 

ECAT is a community based educational arts and career training organization that inspires, educates and empowers people of all ages with adult jobs training and creative youth programs.

Transforming minds and launching careers, the ECAT strives to realize the genius in everyone and enables youth and adults alike to become productive & successful members of society. 

To start, ECAT will operate a digital arts program for high school students and a Medical Assistant training program for adults 18+. The executive director will help ECAT secure a final location, develop programs, hire a qualified staff, and ultimately create an unparalleled environment for inspiration, education, and empowerment. The hope is to introduce several new programs for students and adults in the coming years. 

In 2015, Erie Regional Chamber’s Growth Partnership Committee raised the funds to conduct an initial feasibility study for a better trained work force. Since then, ECAT’s Board of Directors has been meeting regularly, and they are excited to be so close to establishing this new community asset which they believe is a perfect fit for Erie. They are actively looking to partner with other like-minded community organizations and play their part in making Erie a stronger city for everyone who lives in it.

About Manchester Bidwell Corporation and the National Center for Arts & Technology

Manchester Bidwell Corporation’s supportive atmosphere of art, light and music empowers students to become productive society members. This is done through a number of initiatives:

  • Bidwell Training Center — the accredited and state licensed career training for adults-in-transition is focused on job placement.
  • Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s Youth & Arts — the out-of-school-time courses based in four art studios are for public school students.
  • MCG Jazz — Preserving, promoting and presenting jazz music through a subscription concert series as well as archival and educational programming.
  • The National Center for Arts & Technology — creating similar educational environments across the world! 

About the Erie Regional Chamber

The ERCGP is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides leadership to attract, retain and expand business in the Erie region.  More than 790 businesses currently belong to the ERCGP. For more information on the ERCGP, visit