Nine finalists selected for Innovation Challenge

Alexandria, Va. – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) announced that proposals from nine Catholic Charities agencies have been selected as finalists in the organization’s second Innovation Challenge. Representatives from each agency will pitch their projects during CCUSA’s Annual Gathering in Cleveland in October, and three agencies will be chosen to each receive $633,000 in prize money.    

When CCUSA President and CEO Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, announced the second Innovation Challenge in September, she urged Catholic Charities agencies around the country to explore innovative solutions in Workforce Development, one of CCUSA’s strategic priorities. Workforce development provides programs designed to foster the sustainable economic security of individuals and communities. Social services, community collaborations, training, an array of job strategies and industry-driven education all are elements of a successful workforce development program. 

A panel of four outside judges selected proposals from the following agencies as finalists:  

Catholic Charities Eastern Washington
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford
Catholic Charities, San Antonio
Catholic Charities, Boston
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.
Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Nashville
Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan
Catholic Social Services, Columbus, OH
Catholic Social Services, Rapid City

The Innovation Challenge celebrates the transformative power of innovative thinking within the Catholic Charities network. It is an opportunity for Catholic Charities agencies to be recognized for leading in their communities through precedent-setting, poverty-reducing programs and initiatives. 



A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at