Cares of Washington was founded in 1980 as the International Association of Machinists Center for Administrating Rehabilitation and Employment Services for the purpose of providing assistance to people with disabilities living in the Puget Sound area. Over the next two decades, the organization grew to a multi-state employment service agency, headquartered in Washington D.C. In 2002, the Seattle office merged with Independent Employment Services, expanding operations to Tacoma and Bremerton.

When nation-wide programming ended in 2003, the management and staff in Seattle established Cares of Washington (Cares) to continue to provide critical services to low-income individuals as well as people living with disabilities in our region. Cares assumed management of all regional contracts without a single day of interruption, and has continued to provide effective, high quality services ever since.