Lunchtime Roundtable with Black Women in Business

In celebration of Black History Month, The University of Scranton SBDC and Community Relations Office and the Black Scranton Project are co-hosting A Lunchtime Roundtable with Black Women in Business on Monday, February 8 from noon-1 p.m. featuring:

  • Glynis Johns, CEO and Founder, Black Scranton Project 
  • Asia Miller, Owner, Paradise Soulfood & Sweets LLC 
  • Koni Bennett, Owner & Stylist, Vanity Boutique Salon 
  • Juanita Harris, Owner, Grooming by Juanita

Registration is available here: The Facebook event page is here:

The American Heart Association Encourages Participation in National Wear Red Day

Wear Red Day is approaching fast. While we won’t have our traditional Red Dress Pins, bracelets and paper hearts this year, we are still encouraging and supporting companies and the community to support our mission by Wearing Red and spreading awareness about heart disease in women. 

How can you participate?!?

Take pictures! Lots of pictures! And post the on social media using #nepaheartwalk
Need fun ideas on how to support in a virtual world?

  • Turn your Zoom background Red and take a picture of the group while on a conference call.
  • Start your meetings with a Heart fact. Need inspiration, find more information on
  • Walking meetings! Why chat in your seat when you can take your meeting to the hallways….get those steps in!
  • For those of you who are in the office, conduct a dress down day. Or a camera off Zoom day!

Due to the pandemic, we are handling donations a little differently this year.

  • Have cash? Can it be converted into a check or an online donation?
  • Checks should be made out the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION and mailed to the address below. Please indicate on a note enclosed that this money is for a Wear Red Day fundraiser in Northeast PA.

American Heart Association
P.O. Box 3049
Syracuse, NY 13202

SBDC Reimagining Your Creative Business Series

The SBDC is premiering a new series geared toward creative entrepreneurs. This unique entrepreneurship series is designed to provide creative entrepreneurs of all types with the knowledge, skills, and support needed to reimagine their for-profit small business in the wake of COVID-19. Topics covered will include:

  • Current Opportunities & Challenges for Creatives
  • Fine-Tuning Finance
  • Reimagining Your Marketing & Branding
  • Putting Your Reimagined Plan into Action with Social Media & eCommerce

The series will take place on Wednesdays in February from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, and businesses can attend one or more sessions.

More information can be found at

Johnson College and Mount Aloysius College Sign Articulation Agreement for Health Science Programs

Johnson College and Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania signed an articulation agreement on Monday, January 4, 2021. This agreement is the first of its kind between the two institutions. It will provide students in the Health Science programs with the opportunity to complete a two-year degree at Johnson College and then transfer to Mount Aloysius to complete a bachelor’s degree or transfer credits and continue their education through an articulation. The agreements allow for the following admission opportunities:

  • Graduates of Johnson College’s Associate of Science – Physical Therapist Assistant can transfer into Mount Aloysius College’s Bachelor of Science -Leadership in Healthcare.
  • Graduates of Johnson College’s Associate of Science – Radiologic Technology can transfer into Mount Aloysius College’s Bachelor of Science -Leadership in Healthcare or Bachelor of Science – Medical Imaging.

Students transferring into Mount Aloysius College’s programs must meet minimum cumulative grade-point average requirements and satisfy all other transfer requirements. All agreements become effective in Fall 2021. Johnson College is currently enrolling for all associate degree programs related to the agreements.

“Creating a pathway for our students to a bachelor’s degree ensures that they have the opportunity to stack their credentials as a way to advance in their career. Establishing this first-ever articulation agreement with Mount Aloysius College is another way that Johnson College does that,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. John McKeegan, President of Mount Aloysius College, added, “Students at Johnson College are building a strong, hands-on foundation with their Associate Degree and are now able to take this seamless next step to Mount Aloysius College to continue their academic journey. We are thrilled to partner with them on these two great programs.”

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

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Improving, but Remain High Despite Vaccine Rollout

Despite daily hospitalizations declining and tens of thousands more members of our community receiving the vaccine, Geisinger continues to feel the strains of the pandemic and asks for patience during the vaccination process.

While COVID-19 activity continues to be high in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, Geisinger is seeing fewer positive COVID-19 tests, lower positivity rates and a reduction in overall hospitalizations, but our communities remain at levels we saw in late November.

  • Over the past two weeks, we’ve averaged about 200 positive COVID-19 tests per day, with an average positivity rate of about 14%.
  • That is down from an average of more than 400 new positive tests per day in December and a positivity rate as high as 23%.
  • This past week, we reached the milestone of having fewer than 200 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, getting as low as 185 earlier this week.
  • Our previous peak was more than 350 in late December.

“We are still in a tenuous place, so even a small increase in hospitalizations can put us into a troublesome capacity situation that jeopardizes care for COVID and non-COVID patients,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger’s president and chief executive officer. “Despite the vaccination rollout underway, we can’t lose sight of the fact we’re still facing challenges in our hospitals. In the past week, we are still admitting more than one new patient with COVID-19 to our hospitals every hour.”

There is uncertainty surrounding available vaccine supply, and because of this, we cannot accept any new first dose appointments at this time. All existing appointments will continue as scheduled for the time being. We are working closely with the state to understand quantities we can expect going forward. We look forward to opening additional appointments as supply becomes available.

  • This week Geisinger provided its 50,000th COVID-19 vaccine.
  • About two-thirds of Geisinger employees have chosen to receive the vaccine.
  • We are encouraged by promising trends among the COVID-19 positivity rate for our employees since introducing the vaccine. Current positivity rates among employees are at levels comparable to last summer.

“Demand for the vaccine is still incredibly high in our communities, and we will continue to provide the vaccine as supplies and logistics allow,” Ryu said. “We know a lot of people continue to have questions about when they can get an appointment. We ask for everyone’s patience and encourage you to visit and myGeisinger regularly for the latest information.”

Vaccine supply globally is fluctuating each week, but has been and will continue to be low over the next several weeks, increasing the time it will take to get through the state’s Phase 1A. That is why although vaccines are being provided across the Commonwealth each day, it remains necessary to continue following the preventive measures that have been in place to help stop the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask, thoroughly washing hands and avoiding large and small gatherings are still needed, as we are still likely months away from being able to loosen these measures.

For continued updates on the COVID-19 vaccine and updates on availability, visit

The Greater Scranton YMCA Helps Children Learn to be Safe Around Water

As part of the Y’s commitment to reduce drowning rates and keep kids safe in and around the water, the Greater Scranton YMCA will provide scholarships for swim instruction and water safety to children from underserved communities in our region.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to 14 years old. In ethnically diverse communities, the youth drowning rate is two to three times higher than the national average, according to a USA Swimming study. Additionally, 64 percent of African-American children, 45 percent of latino children, and 40 percent of Caucasian children have no or low swimming ability.

“Educating children how to be safe around water is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before they cross the street,” said Ken Brewster, Aquatics Director, Greater Scranton YMCA. “The Y teaches children of all ages and backgrounds that water should be fun, not feared, and this practice not only saves lives, it builds confidence.”

The Y believes this is especially true following 2020’s COVID-19 shutdowns. In a typical year, the Greater Scranton YMCA teaches 1,500 individuals in their swim programs—this decreased to 617 in 2020. “We know there are children in our community who are now more at risk due to the need to maintain social distancing in 2020 and we want to make every effort we can to reach those kids this year. In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment while COVID-19 is still present, the Y is offering smaller class sizes, requiring all staff and volunteers to wear masks and is deploying hydrostatic foggers throughout the building for disinfection of areas and equipment.”

The Y is a leader in providing swim lessons and water safety. The Greater Scranton YMCA continues to help youth and adults experience the joy and benefits of swimming, so they can be healthy, confident and secure in the water. There are a variety of programs to choose, including competitive swimming, family swimming, swim lessons, certification courses, the Annual Safe Around Water Campaign, water aerobics, arthritis water exercise and more.

In addition to learning lifesaving water safety skills, children can increase their physical activity by swimming. Swimming also motivates children to strive for self-improvement, teaches goal orientation and cultivates a positive mental attitude and high self-esteem. It also teaches life lessons of sport and sportsmanship, so that children can learn how to work well with teammates and coaches and how to deal with winning and losing—skills that last a lifetime.

To learn how to qualify for financial assistance for swim lessons, please contact Ken Bewster at or (570) 828-3112.

Telespond Senior Services Receives Grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation

Telespond Senior Services , Inc. is delighted to announce the award of a grant from the Moses Taylor Foundation is the amount of $19,500. 

The funds will be used for exterior safety and security improvements, benefiting daycare. clients and staff alike. The driveway and parking lot will be paved, security cameras will be installed around the entire building perimeter. New LED lights will provide safe entry and exit in early morning and late evening, and upgraded signage throughout the exterior portions of the property will add a much-needed facelift.

Net Credit Union Donates $20K to Allied Services

NET Credit Union accomplished another successful fundraising year for a local deserving organization. Due to COVID-19, NET Credit Union held the 7th Annual NEToberfest Golf Tournament and raised funds virtually. NET Credit Union donated $20,000 to The dePaul School at Allied Services.

The dePaul School’s mission is to teach students with dyslexia and other related learning disabilities how to learn. Their dedicated staff and specially trained faculty offer a well-structured system of programs aimed at maximizing abilities and compensating for disabilities. All funds raised will benefit the students and staff of The dePaul School.

Allied Services is a Preferred Partner Group of NET Credit Union. All employees (and family members) are eligible and welcome to bank at NET Credit Union. Those interested can get started now:

Pictured Left to Right: Jim Brogna, Vice President of Strategic Partnership Development at Allied Services and Clarence Baltrusaitis, CEO of NET Credit Union.