PennDOT Highlights Career Opportunities

PennDOT District 4 highlighted opportunities to join the PennDOT team in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is seeking hardworking individuals to work from September 2021 through April 2022 in the Winter Maintenance Program! If you enjoy working in a fast-paced and dedicated environment on a seasonal basis, or with the potential for promotion into a permanent position, this is the job for you. Please go to or click here to apply today.

Watch this video to see how you can make a difference in the Winter Maintenance Program!

“Engineering District 4, which is responsible for Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counites has immediate openings for transportation equipment operators with commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), diesel and construction equipment mechanics, auto mechanics, laborers, and radio dispatchers in all counties.  We need to fill almost 100 CDL operator positions and 23 non-operator positions, District-wide for this winter.” said Jonathan Eboli, Assist District Executive of PennDOT District 4.

Starting hourly rates are:

·       Transportation Equipment/CDL Operator ($19.24)
·       Diesel & Construction Equipment Mechanic ($20.40)
·       Auto Mechanic ($18.08)
·       Semi-Skilled Laborer ($16.05)
·       Tradesman Helper ($16.05)
·       Welder ($18.08)
·       Radio Dispatcher ($14.25)
·       Custodial Worker ($14.25)
·       Stock Clerk ($14.25)

Motorists can check conditions on major roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website. Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties at Information about infrastructure in District 4, including completed work and significant projects, is available at

HNB Supports Lacawac Sanctuary with EITC Donation

The Honesdale National Bank was once again authorized to make approved contributions under the Commonwealth’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. HNB designated $2,000 of their approved allotment to the Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center, nestled on 550 acres near the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack. The funds, donated by HNB, will support the Center’s K-12 innovative educational programs

HNB President & CEO David Raven stated, “Lacawac Sanctuary presents benefits to our environment,  local students, and community members.” He said, “We are glad that we can continue to support the funding of this organization to care for our youth’s education and environmental preservation.”

Craig Lukatch, Lacawac Sanctuary President, said, “Lacawac Sanctuary is very grateful for the generous support of The Honesdale National Bank. Lacawac’s YES (Youth Engaging Science) Programs provide opportunities for students to participate in hands-on environmental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education programs both in and out of school.”

The Lacawac Sanctuary offers direct experiences with nature, providing relevant learning that equips students with critical thinking, creative approaches, and problem-solving skills. Their mission is to preserve the natural beauty of Lake Lacawac, its watershed, and surrounding lands; to conduct long-term research on natural systems as part of a global effort to understand and protect the Earth’s biodiversity; and to increase appreciation of this effort through innovative, field-based educational programs for students, teachers, and the community.

Lukatch continued, “Lacawac strives each year to take our inquiry-based science programs to the next level, transforming the way teachers teach and students learn environmental education.”

Johnson College Now Offering Automotive Paid Internship Opportunity

Johnson College is offering an Automotive industry-driven career exploration experience to high school students enrolled in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). This program will be held from July 26 through August 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Johnson College campus and industry partner locations. Students will have an opportunity to dive into a college experience and develop skills to prepare them for success on and off a college campus. They will also receive exposure to the automotive industry through a paid internship program.  

The second week of the program will run from 9 a.m. to noon and will take place at different industry partner locations allow students to shadow local automotive industries and gain first-hand knowledge and experience.

For more information and to register, email Tim Frank, Academic Program Specialist at Johnson College, at This event is free for students enrolled in the OVR program.

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

Billy Strings Extends Headline Tour Through December

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Billy Strings will continue his extensive headline tour through the end of the year including a newly confirmed show at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, PA on Friday, November 19th at 8:30pm. Tickets for the Wilkes-Barre show go on-sale this Friday, July 16th at 10:00am at and in person at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena. Full details can be found at

The new dates add to a landmark year for Strings, who was recently named Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards after continuing to perform consistently, both in-person and virtually. Reflecting on his recent shows, Pollstar declares, “The hottest hand in jamgrass mastered pandemic touring…in a fraught year, Strings and those around him parlayed that fervor into the rare pandemic success story, blazing trails in livestreaming, drive-in touring and socially distanced podded shows while remaining true to their core values of authenticity and fan engagement.” Additionally, Relix featured Strings on the cover of their April/May issue praising, “Strings’ exuberance speaks to the boundless, resourceful spirit of his music…beyond his technical mastery, it’s his authenticity that continues to animate his music and, in turn, the fans who are drawn to that music.”

Furthering his recent success, Strings taped his PBS “Austin City Limits” debut last week, which will appear as part of the legendary program’s upcoming 47th season, and recently released two new collaborations: “Wargasm” featuring special guest RMR, and a new version of Bill Monroe favorite, “Midnight on the Stormy Deep,” with bluegrass legend Del McCoury, of which Jambands praises, “Their live performance swells with fine mandolin and guitar runs, as the 82-year-old and 28-year-old harmonize their respective high tenor and soulful euphonious voices.” Adding to an already triumphant career, Strings won Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards forhisacclaimed 2019 record, Home. Released on Rounder Records, Home was produced by Glenn Brown and furthers Strings’ reputation as “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars” (Rolling Stone). Of the album, The Associated Press proclaims, “it is his creative musical storytelling, paired with solid vocals on Home that should seal the deal, pleasing fans of the genre and creating some new ones…the perfect blend of pure talent and pluck,” while The Wall Street Journal praises, “Billy Strings has clearly emerged as a premier guitar flatpicker of this era.” Strings and the album also topped Billboard’s 2020 year-end chart in both Bluegrass categories: Top Bluegrass Artists and Top Bluegrass Albums

Michigan-born and now Nashville-based, Strings arrived on the music scene as one of the most compelling new artists with the release of his 2017 debut LP, Turmoil & Tinfoil. Since his debut, Strings has been awarded Guitar Player of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Awards, selected as one of Rolling Stone’s 2017 “New Country Artists to Know” and performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and PBS’ “Bluegrass Underground.” Often playing over 200 shows per year, Strings keeps the improvisational tradition of bluegrass alive while incorporating elements of several diverse genres. WXPN’s World Café declares, “a bona fide phenom…with his virtuosic guitar playing front and center, Strings fuses bluegrass to psych rock, country and jam music, without fussing over what bluegrass should be.

Robert H. Spitz Foundation Announces 2021 Grants

The Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation, announces its 2021 grants, awarding a total of $717,500 to 45 nonprofit organizations in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Foundation distributed a total of $717,500 in grants to the following nonprofit organizations: Adopt A Boxer Rescue, Allied Services Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern PA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Bread Basket of Northeast Pennsylvania, Catherine McAuley Center, Dress for Success Lackawanna, Fraternite Notre Dame, GAIT TRC, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Jewish Community Center of Scranton, Jewish Family Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Johnson College, Junior Achievement of Northeastern PA, Lackawanna Historical Society, Luzerne County Animal Response Team, Marywood University, NativityMiguel School of Scranton, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, NEPA Pet Fund and Rescue, North Shore Animal League, Outreach – Center for Community Resources, PAWsitively for the Animals, Quigley’s Shelter Pet’s, Inc., Saint Joseph’s Center, Scranton Animal Shelter Association Incorporation, Scranton Area Community Foundation, Scranton Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc., SPCA of Luzerne County, St. Cats and Dogs of Scranton, Temple Israel of Scranton, The Arc of Northeastern PA, The Humane Society of Wyoming County, Inc., The Salvation Army, The University of Scranton, Treatment Court Advocacy Center of Lackawanna County, United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA, Valhalla Veterans Services, Valley Youth House, VNA Hospice and Home Health, Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, Inc., Wilkes University, and Women’s Resource Center.

A complete listing of the 2021 grants awarded by the Robert H. Spitz Foundation can be found on the Scranton Area Community Foundation’s website,

“We are extremely grateful that the generosity of the Robert H. Spitz Foundation has allowed for the support of so many worthy charitable organizations in the region,” stated Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation’s President and CEO. “The impact of Mr. Spitz’s legacy is transformative, and on behalf of the Foundation trustees, we are proud to help carry out the Foundation’s mission.”

In addition to these 2021 grants, the Robert H. Spitz Foundation also provided $100,000 to COVID-19 relief support earlier this year.

Boback Bill Amending Flood Plain Management Act Becomes Law

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) announces the enactment of Act 70 of 2021, that includes her House Bill 1598, which amends the Flood Plain Management Act by placing the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) as the lead agency for the program. 

“I am thankful to see the bill that I was the prime sponsor of get placed in the Administrative Code and receive support and enactment,” said Boback. “My bill specifically amended the Flood Plain Management Act by placing PEMA as the lead agency to oversee this program rather than the Department of Community and Economic Development. This change in oversight would increase the Commonwealth’s receipt of federal hazardous mitigation funding from 15% to 20%, according to PEMA projections. With many flood prone regions in my district, I am grateful to see the quick action and passage of this bill to provide Pennsylvanians with results.”

“Flooding touches every county in the Commonwealth and is one of the most frequent disasters that affects the state,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield.  “Having responsibility for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) moved to PEMA will provide for greater continuity of the program and integration with other Federal Emergency Management Agency programs that our agency coordinates with the local municipalities. It will also assist us in obtaining an Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan which will lead to additional federal funding in the future to lessen the impacts of future disasters to citizens of the Commonwealth.”

House Bill 1598 was enacted under the Administrative Code from House Bill 336, which would amend the Administrative Code to provide budget language implementation.

For more information on Act 70 of 2021, please visit  

The Electric City Classic Hill Climb

Scranton Tomorrow will host the Electric City Classic Hill Climb on Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 4 to 7 p.m., on Olive Street (between Prescott and Taylor Avenues) in the Hill Section of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The race is open to bicyclists of all skill levels. Its unique location poses the ultimate test for professional and amateur athletes as Olive Street is a very steep hill. Its upper section is still covered in brick, adding both charm and challenge to the race

.The ECC Hill Climb debuted in Scranton in 2019 as part of the Electric City Classic, a 2-day event that included international criterium racing in Downtown Scranton on Saturday, followed by the ECC Hill Climb on Olive Street on Sunday. Due to COVID-19, the event was canceled in 2020. It wasn’t feasible to host the criterium in Downtown Scranton in 2021, but organizers are excited to bring back the ECC Hill Climb for people of all ages to enjoy.

Several new elements will be added to this year’s event, including a Kids Race, wheel barrow races, food trucks, music, and more!

The ECC Hill Climb is open to the public, welcoming riders of all skill levels. Registration details will be announced soon!

Click here for registration information.

The Recovery Bank Launches Grief Support Group

The Recovery Bank, a nonprofit peer-driven recovery support center, has announced the launch of a new Grief Support Group for family members and loved ones who have lost someone to drug or alcohol addiction, overdose, or other substance-related deaths. The initial group meeting of GRASP (Grief Recovery Support After a Substance Passing) is scheduled for Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6:00pm at 120 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton.

“This support group seeks to bring together those who have suffered the unique and extremely painful loss occasioned by overdose and other circumstances, so that they can help each other in their healing process,” said Frank Bolock, Project Director at The Recovery Bank. “Unfortunately, our community has felt far too many of these tragic and untimely deaths, and families often struggle to cope after such a loss,” he continued.

There have been over 500 reported overdose deaths in Lackawanna County since 2014, according to data available from the County Coroner’s Office. Carol Coolbaugh, facilitator of the Luzerne County Chapter of GRASP, and Cara Cali, a Certified Recovery Specialist/Certified Family Recovery Specialist at The Recovery Bank, will guide the initial support group meeting. The support group is free to the public but seating is limited due to COVID safety precautions. Please call The Recovery Bank at (570) 880-7901 to reserve a seat.

“As someone who has personally experienced a loss like this, I understand that there is often a stigma associated with overdose deaths. We may become isolated in our grief, feeling that no one understands our pain. The benefit of a group like GRASP is that we can connect with those who have also lived this loss. We don’t have to walk this road alone,” Cali emphasized.

Visit to learn more.