NEPA Health Care Foundation Announces Rollout of Careers in Care Initiative

During a time where the strains on the healthcare workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania have been significant, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation announces its timely rollout of the Careers in Care program. The Scranton Area Community Foundation serves as the administrator of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation’s Careers in Care initiative—which focuses on developing the regional pipeline of the healthcare workforce and the growth and development of the nursing workforce in Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties—will provide a combination of grant funding and scholarship support to help move the needle on these critical areas. Careers in Care is a $1.5 million commitment over a three-year period (2020-2023).

“The Foundation’s Board understands the strains that the regional healthcare workforce is facing and,  through the Careers in Care initiative, strives to make an impact to address these critical issues,” said James Clemente, NEPA Health Care Foundation Board Chair. “Over the past year, we have seen just how timely this really is.”

Through Careers in Care, the NEPA Health Care Foundation will provide grant support to a variety of organizations. These include Lackawanna College, for its three-year plan to enhance the pipeline of local healthcare professionals and increase the number trained and retained in the region; United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA for its Upward Economic Mobility Program, partnering with Johnson College to offer a workforce development program for unemployed and underemployed individuals interested in obtaining technical certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant or Medical Assistant—two high-demand health careers; and Johnson College, to establish a mobile training laboratory providing hands-on experience to teach students what it is like to work in the healthcare field. Additionally, the Foundation will fund the Greater Hazleton Partners in Education’s Career Pathways to Health Care Program, designed to promote learning about health science and medical professions for middle school students, where discussions will be led by health care professionals from the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The Careers in Care initiative will also provide funding to support the Children’s Service Center for their scholarship program addressing the lack of racially diverse behavioral health professionals; Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium (NTIEC) to increase healthcare career awareness and work-based learning placements for regional high school students; and Saint Joseph’s Center for direct support professional wage increases. 

In addition to grant funding, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is establishing a $700,000 nursing scholarship program through the Scranton Area Community Foundation, which is targeted to support the growth and development of the nursing workforce in NEPA. The Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program will begin accepting applications in early March 2021 and will be open to students with demonstrated financial need who plan to pursue or who are pursuing nursing and who will practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania. An announcement in early March will provide detailed instructions on how students can apply through the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s online portal.

“These scholarships will provide the much needed financial support to students who may otherwise not have been able to further their education,” stated Director of Nursing and Associate Professor of Practice at Marywood University, Dr. Theresa Tulaney, PhD, MS, RN, GCNS. “In addition, it will allow students to focus on their education instead of having to work many hours to alleviate difficult financial situations,” she added.

The rollout of the Careers in Care initiative comes after the completion of a regional listening tour which the Foundation conducted from May through September of 2019.  The NEPA Health Care Foundation conducted 30 site visits across the region to determine the health workforce challenges from the perspective of multiple healthcare providers, colleges, universities, vocational schools, agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, and how the Foundation could best make an impact.

“It was clear from discussions during our listening tour that there is a great demand for nurses at all levels. Supply is just not able to meet demand,” said Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. She continued, “It was also clear that the development of the regional health workforce pipeline needs to continue to start earlier with students.” The Scranton Area Community Foundation administers the NEPA Health Care Foundation.

Additional details about the Careers in Care Nursing Scholarship Program will be released in early March 2021.

In addition to the Careers in Care initiative, the NEPA Health Care Foundation is also in the seventh year of a $3.2 million commitment to the Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School (GCSOM) for scholarship support for incoming first year medical students from Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.  The NEPA Health Care Foundation Scholars program covers full tuition for these scholars, who indicate a commitment to practice medicine in Northeastern PA.

The Dime Bank Donated $8,000 to Support Students of Pike & Wayne County

The Dime Bank donated $8,000.00 through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program to the Pennsylvania Council on Financial Literacy (PennCFL).

PennCFL provides to all students in grades 3-12 in Pennsylvania a world-class, web-based stock simulation platform and curriculum. Students can learn how to trade all year long by using the whole curriculum, courses, and more, including two ten-week competitions. The competitions are held in the classroom, by county and state-wide.

The platform provides lessons, assignments, and grading for seamless teacher management. The cutting-edge, real-time stock game is derived from Stock-Trak’s University Platform, which is used in over 80% of the top business schools in the United States.

Teachers and students get access to our extensive experiential education teaching and learning tool designed by Stock-Trak, the world’s leading provider of investment portfolio simulations for colleges and schools. It offers an entire standards-aligned curriculum library and a distance learning-optimized lesson plan database which includes a Google Slides presentation library, teacher training webinars, a student video library, a full personal finance course and a teacher’s dashboard for student assignments, progress reports, and grading.

PennCFL President Alan W. Dakey stated “Thank you for again supporting the Wayne Pike Stock Market Program and for increasing your support.  The Dime Bank was one of our early sponsors when we were first getting started a few years ago, and your support was a great help in getting us launched in our early years.  During the past school year over 20,000 students participated in our financial literacy programs and we have dramatically expanded our online resources particularly in light of the pandemic. Thank you for being one of our founding sponsors.”

The Hidden Hometown Hub

First established in 1973, the Human Resources Center began as a passion project intended to lend a helping hand to a severely underrepresented group of the community. Founded by a collective of local professionals and parents, HRC was established to provide services and support to individuals with disabilities in a time where there were very few options. At HRC’s inception, community acceptance of individuals with disabilities was sparse. But as understanding and knowledge of the disability community grew, so did the Human Resources Center.

What started as a small-scale passion project bloomed into the multi-county nonprofit corporation that we know as HRC today. However, despite public awareness of the disability community increasing, familiarity with HRC’s rapidly growing programs and services did not. The community came to understand HRC as the helping hand to individuals with disabilities — but the “what” and “how” became shrouded in nuance. We hope you will allow us to re-introduce ourselves to the community in which we have been a part of for over 45 years.

The Human Resources Center provides support services to individuals with disabilities throughout much of NEPA including Wayne, Pike, Carbon, Monroe, Lackawanna, and Susquehanna counties. Our consumers are individuals who have been diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability and seek progressive services options that address individualized goals and interests. Service plans are centered on the individual receiving said services, meaning no two plans are identical, and aim to encourage self-advocacy and independence. So, how do we do this?

All of HRC’s services can be categorized into one of three available programs: Community Participation Support (CPS), Residential, or Employment. CPS is home to two of our more popular programs, the first of which being our Vocational Training Facilities, and the second is a more life skills-based service option called the Day Program. Residential Services are broken up into three groups: Home and Community-Based services, a host family-style service called Lifesharing, and group living services in our Community Homes. And lastly HRC’s Employment services offer Supported Employment in the community, School to Employment transitional services, and HRC Manufacturing, which takes place in our VTC facilities. At the Human Resources Center, our consumers learn lifelong skills that filter to nearly every aspect of life. Skills such as socialization, hygiene, money management, career coaching, cooking, cleaning, working with others, and so much more. In doing so, we employ over 400+ local professionals to provide the dedicated care and support needed to help our consumers succeed. What began simply as people helping people, blossomed into friends supporting friends, and now over 45 years later, the Human Resources Center is truly a family at its core.

WVIA to Air Special Rebroadcast of War Stories: Pat Solano

In remembrance of Pat Solano, WVIA will air a special rebroadcast of the award-winning original documentary film War Stories: Pat Solano on Friday, January 29th at 7:30pm and on Sunday, January 31st at 1:30pm on WVIA TV.

Solano, a resident of Pittston Township, was a decorated veteran of World War II having completed 23 combat missions with the Eighth U.S. Air Force Heavy Bombardment Group. During his military career he earned multiple military honors and medals.

For more information and to watch War Stories: Pat Solano on-demand please visit

Limited Amount of Tickets Available for Johnson College’s Designer Purse Lottery Fundraiser

A limited amount of tickets are still available for Johnson College’s first ever Designer Purse Lottery presented by Shop Rite. Each $25 ticket gives you a chance to win purses from Coach, Fossil, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Tori Burch throughout February. Plus, a $1,500 Louis Vuitton on Valentine’s Day. To purchase tickets and support Johnson College’s Annual Fund visit or contact the Johnson College Development team at 570-702-8991.

Each $25 ticket will list two, 3 digit numbers. Throughout February 2021, if one of the numbers on a ticket comes in during the evening Pennsylvania Pick 3 lottery, that ticket’s owner will win the designer purse of the day. The numbers on the tickets are valid throughout February, so participants can possibly win more than once. 

All money raised will benefit the Johnson College Annual Fund. The Annual Fund assists Johnson College in producing the best technicians and technologists for the future essential workforce.

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Boback Reminds 100% Service-Connected Disabled Veterans of Real Estate Tax Exemption

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, would like to remind veterans who are 100% permanently disabled due to service that they are eligible for an exemption on their real estate tax.

This program provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) offers real estate tax exemption for any honorably discharged veteran who is 100% disabled, has a financial need and is a resident of the Commonwealth.

Veterans may apply for the exemption by contacting the Veterans Affairs director in their county of residence:  

Lackawanna County – Director David Eisele – 570-963-6778 –

Luzerne County – Director Jim Spagnola – 570-706-3960 –

Wyoming County – Director Jack Hubert – 570-996-2258 –

Veteran’s eligibility criteria:

  • Served in the military honorably.
  • Served during established war service dates as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs **The following decorations can also be used to establish wartime service: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or Navy Expeditionary Medal.
  • Must have a total or 100% permanent service-connected disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or as the result of military service the veteran is blind or paraplegic or has sustained the loss of two or more limbs.
  • Must be a resident of the Commonwealth.
  • Must occupy the real estate as his/her principal dwelling.
  • Dwelling is owned solely by the veteran or as an estate in the entirety.

Must prove financial need:

  • Veteran must prove financial need according to the criteria established by the State Veterans Commission if their annual income exceeds $92,594, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Applicants with an annual income of $92,594 or less are given a rebuttable presumption to have a need for the exemption
  • **Upon the death of a qualified veteran, tax exemption may pass on to the unmarried surviving spouse if financial need can be shown.

An exemption for the financial need can be considered when the applicant’s allowable expenses exceed the applicant’s household income. The applicant’s monthly household expenses will be calculated to include a cost of living allowance and dependent’s allowance.

After the DMVA certifies the financial need for an exemption and the eligibility criteria is verified, the county board of assessment and revision of taxes will grant the tax exemption. Cases that have been granted tax exemption will be reviewed periodically to determine continued need for exemption from certain real estate property taxes.

For more information on the real estate tax exemption program or any other state programs and services supporting veterans, visit

Geisinger’s Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute Offers Virtual Training Program

Geisinger’s Autism & Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI), in partnership with the Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE), is offering an online training program for professionals — and family members — who care for people with autism spectrum disorder.

The program provides training in evidence-based interventions developed to improve the quality and consistency of services for people with autism and their families. Topics include applied behavior analysis, or the study of how behavior works, which, when paired with therapy, can increase communication skills, focus and social skills. The program also covers speech and language evaluation, genetic testing and transitional, vocational and housing options for people with autism.

“We’re thrilled to offer a substantial training program about evidence-based practices to those in our region who work to support people with autism spectrum disorder and their families,” said Barbara Haas-Givler, Geisinger ADMI’s director of education and behavioral outreach. “While the program targets professionals, parents and caregivers are also welcome to take advantage of the curriculum. The webinars can be viewed at your own pace and cover a wide range of topics.”

To receive a certificate of completion, participants must register and view five core webinars, complete a brief post-webinar quiz, view and attest to reading consensus documents for each of the core areas, and view four additional webinars.

The Professional Training Program was developed in collaboration with ACCE partners from Misericordia University, University of Scranton, Wyoming Valley Children’s Association, and Friendship House. Funding support for the program was provided by the AllOne Foundation. To register or for more information, visit

New Law Updates CDL Requirements for PA Veterans, Service Members

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) announced today that a new Pennsylvania law waives the requirement for Pennsylvania residents who are current and former military members and who operated a commercial vehicle as part of their duties, to take a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Knowledge Test when applying for a CDL. Previous legislation – Act 133 of 2008 – established a waiver of the CDL skills test for these individuals.

“We are pleased to announce this important change and hope that it helps military members in their transition to civilian life find good-paying, sustainable employment to begin their new lives,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

Act 131 of 2020 allows the PennDOT to waive the CDL Knowledge Test for Pennsylvania residents on active or reserve military duty or recently honorably discharged veterans, provided those service members have at least two years of experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements.

The waiver applies to CDL applicants who wish to operate vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. For example, those who drove combination type commercial (Class A) motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a combination type vehicle and those who drove a single motor vehicle of commercial type (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for the waiver to drive that type of vehicle. Applicants must complete form DL-398, “Application for Military CDL Test Waiver,” to request the waiver.

Doubles, triples and school bus endorsements cannot be waived under this program. PennDOT will waive the knowledge test specified, subject to the limitations in the 49 Code of Federal Regulation Section 383.77, to an applicant who meets all the requirements for a waiver.

“Service members gain many valuable skills in the military that translate well into the civilian job sector,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s acting adjutant general and acting head of the DMVA. “This program is a huge opportunity to assist our veterans and service members with these skills to get good jobs as Pennsylvania is critically short in CDL drivers.”

Military personnel and veterans interested in taking advantage of the CDL skills and knowledge test waivers can find further information by visiting, click on Driver Services and choose Military Personnel Veterans from the dropdown. Form DL-398 can be found under Forms and Publications on the homepage.

Kohanski & Co. Recent Acquisitions

On July 1, 2020 Kohanski & Co. CPA’S completed the acquisition of Kingston, PA based CPA firm Kovalchik, Kollar & Co. Kovalchik, Kollar & Co. has been providing accounting, tax, and auditing services to clients for over 60 years.

“The team at Kohanski & Co. is excited about the opportunity to continue our growth with this acquisition” said Michael Kohanski, CPA. “We currently service a significant number of clients in Luzerne County and the ability to add to that base and have an office located there is another step in our strategic plan.”

“Mr. Kovalchik and Mr. Kollar will assist with the transition prior to retiring and all of the existing staff of Kovalchik, Kollar & Co. will be offered positions with Kohanski & Co.” said Mr. Kohanski.

In addition, Morda, Kotch & Associates, PC has merged into Kohanski & Co. and Colleen H. Morda, CPA joined the firm as manager in charge of the Kingston office. Also, effective January 1, 2021, we relocated the Moosic office to 4 Meadow Avenue, Suite C, Scranton, PA 18505

EOS USA Is Hiring In Scranton,PA

EOS USA is hosting an open hiring event on Tuesday, February 2nd and Wednesday 3rd from 9:00am to 5:00pm (each day).

The location of the hiring event:
Hilton Scranton &Conference Center
100 Adams Ave
Scranton, PA 18503

Please bring a copy of your resume to the event as we will have a hiring Manager available to do an on-site interview.

We are looking to fill multiple Customer Service Representative positions. This is a full-time position and if hired the training class is starting on Monday, February 8th. The schedule for this position is Monday- Friday from 10:00amEST to 6:30pmEST.

This position will start off by working remotely from home as we are establishing an office location in Scranton, PA. All applicants must have the flexibility to start with working from home and then be able to go into the office once the location has been established.

Hourly Rate: $14.00 an hour with increases after 90 days of employment/180 days of employment/365 days of employment

We also will offer a $500 sign-on bonus, which will be paid out as follows:
$100 at 30 days of employment
$200 at 60 days of employment
$200 at 90 days of employment

All verbal offers of employment are contingent upon the passing of a pre-employment background check and drug screening. You will also need to provide the information regarding your highest level of education completed (a copy of a transcript or diploma will suffice).

We offer: paid training, paid time off, paid holidays, company match 401K plan and comprehensive medical/dental plans.

Guidelines for the event:
· For your safety, masks are required for all participants in our location.
· Social distancing of at least 6 feet must be maintained at all times.
· All events will be conducted in accordance with CDC and state COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For further questions, please contact the Human Resources department at 781-753-4340.EOS USA is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability status, age or protected veteran status.