Outreach Center for Community Resources Community Celebration

Outreach invites the public to attend a Community Celebration in the Center’s Backyard Green Space at 431 North Seventh Avenue on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, starting at 4:30 PM.

Outreach will be honoring the following individuals that have had a profound impact on the organization and mission of Moving Today’s Families Forward:

  • Beth Beh, founder of EOTC/Outreach through Women’s Employment Program;
  • Maureen Pesavento (posthumously), board member, 10 years of service and establishment of an ongoing building maintenance fund;
  • Elaine and Jim Donly, 25-year employee and husband recognizing years of service and donation of a Mighty Oak tree to the backyard green space;
  • Kristy Ryczak (posthumously), EOTC Program Manager, 10 years of service; and
  • Pamela Pangonis (posthumously), Outreach Case Manager, 5 years of service.

Outreach will also be celebrating:

  • Completion of the new mural on the exterior wall of The Center made possible by the Lackawanna County Office of Arts and Culture and the Lackawanna County Commissioners; and
  • Community Partners who contributed to beautifying the backyard greenspace for staff and families to enjoy:
  • Penn State Master Gardeners, creators and contributors to the backyard green space aesthetics/plants; and
  • Home Depot (veteran volunteers), donation and construction of the backyard green space gazebo.

This community celebration will also include a Pig Roast fundraiser. Dinners will be available for take-out for a suggested minimum donation of $10/dinner.

Boback Holds Joint Veterans Service Officer Day at the Capitol

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, announces Veterans Service Officer Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in coordination with the House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees.

The event is being held in conjunction with the five major veterans service organizations, the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. 

“As the majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I am grateful to host this event at the Capitol with my House and Senate counterparts,” said Boback. “Our veterans deserve our support and Veterans Service Officer Day at the Capitol focuses on the free services available to all veterans across the Commonwealth.”

This event is open to all downtown state employees and the general public. All veterans, spouses and widows of veterans, or anyone with a veteran in their family who may need the assistance of the VA to help pay long-term medical costs are welcome to attend. It is also open to anyone interested in enrollment in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care or anyone who desires to enroll in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) Registry.

Anyone wanting an advance appointment with any organization can do so by calling Stephanie Imboden at 877-720-8387 or email stephanie@pa-legion.com.

Marywood University Named a 2021-2022 College of Distinction

Marywood University has been recognized nationally for its high-impact approach to education and its honorable commitment to engaged, experiential education by Colleges of Distinction, a one-of-a-kind guide for college-bound students. As an institution whose primary goals are based on student success and satisfaction, Marywood confirms its honor as one of the renowned Colleges of Distinction.

Colleges of Distinction boasts its longstanding support for student-centered schools that traditional rankings often overlook, advocating for schools whose undergraduate experiences are grounded in a philosophy of well-rounded, individualized engagement. Founder Wes Creel created Colleges of Distinction to draw more attention to schools like Marywood, whose student-centered education prevails in applying theory to practice while fostering a dynamic learning community.

“Each school is different, just as every student is different,” said Creel. “There is no number-one college for everyone, so we never rank those in our cohort.” Marywood University’s inclusion is informed by the unique ways it commits to achieving success.

Marywood University also earned special recognition nationally among Catholic Universities and statewide among Pennsylvania Universities. Individual accolades include Colleges of Distinction’s national endorsements of Marywood’s academic programs in Business, Education, and Nursing, as well as its exceptional student support initiatives in Career Development and Military Support.

These additional distinctions were borne out of a need for college curricula that are comprehensive not only in course material, but also in practical- and soft-skills development. Marywood University has met these needs with a blend of professional degrees, supported by a strong liberal arts education, program-specific training, and abundant opportunities for real-world application. Marywood also has excelled at having students graduate and enter the workforce with versatile skills; that’s why students attend Marywood—to discover their passion and realize their purpose.

“We complete a thorough review of the programs in question before giving the awards,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “We’re looking for such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, advising and mentoring, integration of career services, and successful outcomes for students. It’s wonderful to see how Marywood University really exemplifies these qualities.” He continued, “Marywood has created a welcoming environment for underserved students. It’s a tremendous opportunity to highlight the noteworthy support offered for students who might not otherwise study and thrive on a college campus.”

To view Marywood University’s profile, or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit collegesofdistinction.com/school/marywood-university/.

Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau Local Business Alert

Two national championships will be held in Lackawanna County. The visitor’s bureau alerts local businesses of an increase in visitors to the area the weekend of September 11.  

The National Beard Championship will be held at Montage Mountain.

The Northeast Regional Ladies Ball will be held in Downtown Scranton.

Nominations open for Mohegan Sun Arena’s “Salute to Service” Suite Ticket Promotion

The ASM Global-managed Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Twp., along with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, are once again proud to honor local military personnel and first responders throughout the upcoming season by donating the usage of an arena luxury suite for those that served their country and community.

Since the beginning of the 2015-16 event season, Mohegan Sun Arena and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins donated nearly 2,500 tickets as part of the “Salute to Service” Suite promotion. The venue’s “Salute to Service” Suite is decorated in Penguins military and first responder jerseys, and each recipient is recognized during the game. Nominations are now open for this promotion from the general public online at Mohegan Sun Arena’s website at https://mohegansunarenapa.com/salutetoservice/. Recipients of the award will be chosen at random and each recipient will receive 12 tickets to the “Salute to Service” Suite for a Penguins game along with three VIP Parking passes and a complimentary snack package.

In addition, all active and retired military and first responders including police, firefighters and EMT’s will continue to receive 25% off select concessions items at permanent ASM Global/SAVOR managed concessions stands by showing their ID at all Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins games, as well as for concerts and family shows.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are offering special ticket pricing for active military by showing their Military ID card at the NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena. Active military can get Red Zone tickets for $23.75 and Gold or Blue Zone seats for just $13.75. Individual game tickets for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins regular season will go on sale soon. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton season ticket packages, including full season memberships, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Luxury suite rentals for most Mohegan Sun Arena events are available by calling the arena at (570) 970-3506. Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza is owned by the Luzerne County Convention Center Authority, a government body appointed by Luzerne County. The arena is managed by ASM Global with catering and concessions services provided by SAVOR… at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Johnson College Receives Grant

Johnson College has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Health Care Foundation. The grant will support the College’s “Widening the Pipeline for a Trained Healthcare Workforce” project designed to increase the pool of qualified, well-trained health care workers for our area. 

Johnson College will establish a mobile training laboratory to provide a hands-on experience for potential students to see and feel what it is like to work in the health care field. This positive and highly visible project will provide an interactive way to share career information. With a focus on engaging non-traditional students, Johnson College will show participants various paths to meet their educational training needs. Johnson College offers pathways to health care careers with associate degree programs such as physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, and biomedical equipment technology as well as continuing education programs..

Regionally, there are several successful STEM-related pipeline programs serving middle and high school students. With this new program, Johnson College will widen that pipeline to include non-traditional students who represent diverse age, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. These potential students include displaced workers due to COVID-19, non-English speaking individuals, those who want/need to return to the workforce post-retirement or family, and those dissatisfied with their current career path.

“We are excited to offer this new experience and information to people from all around NEPA and beyond, and to bring it directly to them,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “Our goal with the mobile lab is to show the region that a career in health care is attainable no matter who you are or what your current situation may be. We want to give people a taste of what hands-on education at Johnson College is like. We continuously strive to be the leaders in hands-on education and meet the workforce needs of NEPA.”

For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email enroll@johnson.edu, or visit Johnson.edu.

Lackawanna College Receives PA GOAL Grants

Lackawanna College was recently awarded four grants from PA GOAL (Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning). PA GOAL supports student success by offering mini-grants to create open and affordable learning projects at a diverse range of institutions across Pennsylvania, through funding provided by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) by the state Department of Education (PDE) through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL), and managed by PALCI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization. The funding will support the redesign of the institution’s American Government (HIS 118), Introduction to Psychology (PSY 105), Helping Skills (HSV 310), and Business Law (MGT 240) courses to utilize open educational resource (OER) materials.

Dr. Gopu Kiron, Lackawanna College Associate Dean of eLearning and Information Literacy, identified a need to replace textbooks with cost-free eBooks and other resources. By utilizing freely available learning materials via OER in these courses, traditional textbook expenses will be eliminated. This shift will help to bridge the socio-economic gap and improve the accessibility of the College’s programs.

“Obtaining this grant means that we can continue to further the mission of Lackawanna College, which is to provide a quality education to all persons who seek to improve their lives and better the communities in which they live,” said Dr. Kiron. “Implementing OER materials will help students to save money and will support the principles of equity, inclusion, and accessibility at our main campus and across our six satellite centers.”

Dr. Kiron will lead a team of instructors, faculty, and staff in implementing structured course content based on OER materials that will be implemented during the 2021-2022 academic year.

For more information on these grants managed by PALCI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization, visit PA GOAL’s website, pagoal.org.

Tobyhanna Employee Services Center Offers Short-Term Counseling, Resources for Workforce

When employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot experience a mental health issue, they don’t need to look far for help. The depot’s Employee Services Center (ESC) is available to provide short-term counseling and support for a variety of issues.

The ESC mission focuses on prevention, education, training and short-term counseling in the areas of substance abuse, suicide, sexual assault, and employee work/life well-being.  All services are confidential and take place on post.

Brittany Anderson, the ESC’s Community Support Advocate, is a board-certified clinical counselor who specializes in family situations as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She outlined the distinction between ESC services and the traditional mental health care model.

“Our services are not intended for long-term mental health treatment. Instead, we offer members of Team Tobyhanna brief, solution-focused counseling. During sessions, we work with clients to help them balance their stress and create a foundation for their next steps,” she said, adding that clients with issues that require long-term treatment are referred out to therapists and/or services in the community which are tailored to meet employee needs.  But ESC support doesn’t stop once a referral is made.

“Even after referral, we maintain contact and offer follow-ups to ensure Tobyhanna Army Depot is an environment that supports employees during their times of need. We want to ensure employees know that we’re here as they move on to the next step of their journey,” Anderson said.

“At the end of counseling, we hope our clients leave with an improved quality of life and the ability to address their challenge. Team Tobyhanna – if you need help, please reach out. We will never turn anyone away.”

The ESC is led by Tobyhanna newcomer Ricardo Horn. Horn is a licensed social worker who earned his Master’s Degree from the Marywood University School of Social Work, where he continues to provide support as an adjunct professor. As the Chief of the ESC, he oversees formal programs such as the Employee Assistance Program, Army Substance Abuse Program, and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program.  Horn also joins Anderson in providing mental health care to depot employees – a growing mission for the ESC team, one Horn says he hopes more people utilize in the future.

“Despite the prevalence of mental illness in America, the stigma associated with counseling still prevents many people from getting the help they need,” said Horn. “Mental health awareness is important because it brings attention, focusing on the potential for recovery.”

He adds, “Seeking help is a sign of courage and should never be viewed as a weakness or personal shortcoming.”

According to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide is affected by a mental health issue or disorder.

The services of the ESC are available to all Department of Defense employees and their immediate family members.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the ESC office at (570) 615-8873. If you or a loved one are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the ESC Hotline at (570) 615-5591.