Johnson College Extends Scholarship Support to ‘YES’ Program Graduates

The Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Council and Johnson College today announced a partnership and a scholarship opportunity for YES (Your Employability Skills) Northeast Program graduates.

YES, which is administered by the Council, is a 120-hour, one-credit, year-round elective course that addresses the shortfall of basic skills that employers say are lacking in many job applicants. The course covers 38 modules in all, including communication, team building, interview/resume/cover letter writing, completing a job application, personal finance, conflict resolution, and time management.

In order to earn a certification and become a graduate of the program, students must achieve passing scores on both the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) and the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, demonstrate an attendance rate of 95% or better, pass a six-panel drug screen, complete the 120 hours of curriculum, and earn their high school diploma. Since the program began in 2006, more than 8,500 students have enrolled in the program with 2,918 earning their industry-recognized credential.

Starting with the 2021 fall semester, graduates of the program that enroll at Johnson College are eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship. In addition to the scholarship, students will also be awarded four credits based on prior learning assessment.

“The Council is proud to partner with Johnson College, as together we can help out industry by building tomorrow’s workforce today,” said NEPA MAEC president Darlene J. Robbins. “Manufacturers are currently facing a workforce crisis, with approximately 60 percent of today’s unfilled manufacturing jobs being caused by a shortage of applicants that lack proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as employability skills. Through partnerships such as this one, we can bring more young people into high-paying careers by connecting them with the right training opportunities. This benefits not only the manufacturing sector, but all industries that Johnson College graduates may enter.”

“Our partnership with the Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Council allows YES Northeast Program graduates to save time and money as they pursue their ultimate goal of entering the regional workforce,” said Bill Burke, M.S., Johnson College Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “We look forward to these graduates experiencing Johnson College’s industry-driven, in-demand, hands-on training in a caring environment that we’re known for.”

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

The Wright Center for Community Health Names New Director of Geriatric Services Program

Nicole Lipinski, a registered nurse with 25 years of experience working with elderly patients and caregivers, has been named the new Director of The Wright Center for Community Health’s geriatric services program.

Since its debut in July, the program has been recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as an Age-Friendly Health System Partner for providing a full spectrum of comprehensive, safety-net primary health and support services for seniors. Through individualized care plans developed by a team of providers, The Wright Center serves as a trusted primary health advisor for seniors and their families to support independent living.

A key component of the geriatric program is the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinic, which provides comprehensive evaluation and testing and is accessible no matter who the patient’s primary care doctor is. The Wright Center is one of only eight health systems across the country selected as an adopter of the innovative Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program created at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“Our geriatric program was created to meet the need for specialized services that address the physical, mental and behavioral health challenges specific to seniors, especially as we experience an unprecedented growth rate in Pennsylvania’s aging population,” Lipinski said. “Countless families in Northeast Pennsylvania have benefited from this expert care already, which became even more critical as we navigated the challenges the pandemic presented for at-risk older adults, including isolation.”

Lipinski joined The Wright Center in July as the geriatric care manager, bringing decades of experience caring for patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases to the role. She earned her nursing degree from Luzerne County Community College, and her bachelor’s degree in business and master’s degree in healthcare informatics from Misericordia University. She resides in Throop.

For information about The Wright Center’s geriatric services or to make an appointment, call 570-230-0019.

Pennsylvania American Water Seeking Entries for Annual “Protect our Watersheds” Art Contest

Pennsylvania American Water announced that entries are being accepted for its 19th Annual “Protect Our Watersheds” Art Contest. The contest is for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students in schools served by Pennsylvania American Water, as well as individual students who live in the company’s service area. The contest encourages students to tap into their artistic talents to express the importance of protecting water resources across the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania American Water recently sent contest information and applications to nearly 400 schools in its service territory, encouraging teachers to promote the contest as a fun and imaginative way to draw students’ attention to protecting and preserving Pennsylvania’s watersheds. As part of their entry, students must write a brief narrative on the personal impact of watershed protection.

“This contest demonstrates our company’s commitment to watershed education and protection,” said Mike Doran, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “These students will be the next generation of environmental stewards. By stressing the importance of watershed protection at an early age, we can help protect this precious resource for generations to come.”

New this year, participants will have a chance to be featured in the company’s first ever “Protect Our Watersheds” wall calendar. Twelve students’ artwork will be chosen for the calendar, and the grand prize-winning artwork will be featured on the cover along with the student’s essay and short bio.

The deadline for artwork submission is April 23, 2021. Contest rules and entry forms are available on the company’s website. Winners will be selected based on creative vision, artistic talent, understanding of watershed protection and the ability to communicate that understanding. All entrants will receive a Watershed Champion Certificate, and the top seven winners will also receive bookstore gift cards. For additional information, please contact

For more information, visit and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

RailRiders Announce 2021 Schedule

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, are pleased to announce the schedule for the upcoming 2021 season. The RailRiders are scheduled to play 72 home games and will open their season on Tuesday, April 6, in Moosic against the Worcester Red Sox.

After the entire 2020 Minor League Baseball season was canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, PNC Field served as the alternate training site for the New York Yankees. During the last few months, Major League Baseball reorganized its developmental ranks, essentially creating new leagues and adding several new affiliates across the sport. On February 12, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre announced a 10-year agreement to remain as the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, playing in the newly-formed Triple-A East. The RailRiders were placed in the Northeast Division along with former International League North teams from Buffalo (Toronto) Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia), Rochester (Washington), Syracuse (New York Mets) and Worcester (Boston).

After nearly two decades with the Minnesota Twins, the Rochester Red Wings are now an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The club in Worcester moved from Pawtucket to a new ballpark set to open this season in Worcester, Massachusetts.

“We are excited to release this schedule as a positive sign towards baseball in Moosic this year,” stated John Adams, Team President of the RailRiders. “While certainly several factors must still be clarified to help us move forward with a safe and successful season, this schedule is the first sign of things to come. The front office is hopeful for the return of baseball and seeing our loyal fans at PNC Field very soon.”

The RailRiders will play their entire 2021 schedule against teams from the Northeast Division in an effort to reduce travel for health and safety reasons.  Each Monday during the season is slated as an off day for travel to better accommodate players and staff. Unlike recent seasons, the 2021 campaign will extend beyond Labor Day, culminating on September 19th in Lehigh Valley.

Go to www.SWBRailRiders.Com for the full 2021 schedule.

This 2021 schedule remains fully subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic, while COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, game times and promotional details will be announced at a later date.

Luxury Suites as well as Full, Half and Partial Season Ticket Memberships are on sale now. The RailRiders front office is open on a limited basis and by appointment only. For more information on the upcoming 2021 season, please visit or contact the club by calling (570) 969-2255 and leave a voicemail. Calls will be returned at the earliest possible opportunity.

Commissioners Announce Lackawanna County COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Grant Program

Lackawanna County Commissioners approved $2,374,844 million in funding to provide grants to eligible hospitality and accommodation businesses through the Lackawanna County COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Grant Program. 

The program will provide grants up to $25,000 to eligible businesses in Lackawanna County.

“The hospitality industry has been hit very hard by the pandemic. The majority of our well-established area restaurants and small eateries were reduced to take-out or capacity restrictions, while our hotels saw a huge drop-off in guest room bookings.  We are very pleased to provide some assistance again in conjunction with our partner, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.  Together, we will utilize our resources to assist these sectors to get on the road to economic recovery,” the Board of Commissioners stated.  

In February, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania earmarked $145 million to establish the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Grant Program. The funding was distributed through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to Lackawanna County.

The County will partner with MetroAction, the small business affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, to administer the program and provide technical assistance to grant applicants and awardees. 

Information on the grant program is available at Businesses are encouraged to read program guidelines and gather required program documents. Businesses will be able to submit a grant application for a two-week time frame or until program funding is exhausted.

The grant application will open on March 8.

State of the City with Mayor Cognetti

Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti will give the 2021 State of the City address from Scranton City Hall on Wednesday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Mayor Cognetti will give remarks on Scranton’s challenges and opportunities and illustrate how our community has come together during this unprecedented period of crisis.

The address will be live streamed via Zoom, at, and Comcast Channel 19.

Viewers can dial-in at +16465588656,,88596704167# or use Meeting ID: 885 9670 4167 (no password required).