The Robert H. Spitz Foundation Awards Grant to the Greater Scranton YMCA

In September 2023, the Greater Scranton YMCA was awarded a 20 ,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation. Grant funding will support
the expansion of the Y’s Early Learning Center.

Since the onset of the COVID 19 public health emergency, the need for child care services in our community has grown substantially. Enrollment in the Greater Scranton YMCA’s early childhood education programs has grown significantly with the YMCA’s waitlist for services capped at 150 children.

The Greater Scranton YMCA is limited in space and at maximum capacity. In order to open an additional 30 child care spots each year, the Greater Scranton YMCA will renovate its second floor, which was previously being used for storage and the location of H VAC.

Through renovating the space, the Greater Scranton YMCA will create three new classrooms, each licensed to serve up to 1 0 children. The classrooms will specifically serve children ages zero to two, as the need for infant care is great.

“We are so grateful to the Robert H. Spitz Foundation for their generosity,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “The need for child care services in our community is great and this project will allow us to serve more children and families in need. Parents will be able to return to work knowing their child(ren) are in a safe and nurturing environment while in our care.”

Construction is estimated to be complete and students enrolled in the new classrooms in quarter three, 2024. For more information about the Greater Scranton YMCA’s Early Childhood Education Programs, contact Tressa Parker, Education Director, at or visit the Y online at

NEPIRC Announces Benefits and Impacts Reported by Manufacturers

According to data voluntarily provided by 575 small and mid-sized manufacturing firms across Pennsylvania throughout 2023, the statewide Industrial Resource Center (IRC) initiative, the Commonwealth’s flagship program for strengthening the competitiveness and resiliency of smaller industrial firms, generated significant positive results among users of their services. Over the past 12 months, manufacturers that utilized IRC professional services avoided 7,197 layoffs while adding 1,462 full-time workers to their rosters. They also realized $796.8 million in retained sales and secured $256.4 million of new customer orders as results of their IRC advisement and engagements.

In addition to growing their workforces and increasing their top-line revenue numbers, companies that performed consultative projects with their regional IRC reduced their non-personnel operating costs by $187.1 million over the past 12 months, avoided $36 million of unnecessary expenditures, and invested more than $376.8 million in new equipment, facility expansion, advanced technologies and workforce training. 

Pennsylvania’s IRC initiative consists of seven affiliates: DVIRC, Catalyst Connection, the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), MANTEC, the Manufacturers’ Resource Center (MRC), NEPIRC and NWIRC.

“Over the past year, more than 1,100 manufacturers called upon their regional IRC to help them grow their business, implement new technologies, overcome strategic challenges and build a more robust and skilled workforce. We’re impressed with the results reported by this sampling of our client base while also acknowledging that the true extent of the IRCs’ impact upon our manufacturing economy are well in excess of those represented here,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, president & CEO of NEPIRC, the IRC that services manufacturers across northeastern, northern and north central Pennsylvania. 

The revenue, cost savings, regional investment and job impacts reported by 575 IRC clients was gathered by an independent market research firm and confirmed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Allied Services Partners with Local Church to Support Injured Ukrainian Soldiers

Allied Services partnered with Father Myron Myronyuk, Pastor of St.Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Scranton, to donate rehab equipment and medical supplies to benefit injured Ukrainian soldiers. The donated equipment will be part of a shipment of supplies heading to Ukraine thanks to the efforts of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Church and its friends.  

On Thursday, January 25, 2024, a shipping container arrived from New Jersey at the warehouse at Allied Services in Taylor for loading. Allied Services, a nationally-ranked non-profit rehabilitation provider, donated a significant volume of lightly used rehabilitation equipment including stationary bikes, treadmills, and parallel bars. The donation, estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, also included hospital beds, gowns, walkers, wheelchairs, and other supplies. The donation will assist rehabilitation centers working with Ukrainian soldiers injured since the war started in 2022. 

The University of Scranton Announces Plans for New Building

Rev. Joseph G. Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, announced plans for a nearly 80,000 square-foot center for workforce development, applied research and outreach, to be built on University-owned property on the 300 block of Madison Avenue. Pending approvals by the city, construction will begin this spring and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.

“This new facility is designed to engage the community in ways not currently possible, including the potential for collaboration with manufacturing, health care, government, K-12, higher education, and various other economic sectors,” said Father Marina at the building announcement that took place on the University’s campus on Jan. 23. “It will be another further testament to the University’s pivotal role in workforce development as a Catholic and Jesuit institution that is steadfastly committed to serving our community and our region.”

The open design of the four-story building and its central location on campus near Mulberry Street is intended to facilitate and encourage interdisciplinary opportunities between departments from across the University’s three colleges, and to foster interaction and programs with and for members of the greater Scranton community. The facility will house the University of Success, which is a four-year college preparation initiative for area high school-students, and The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center, which was established at the University on 1980 and serves an eight-county area that spans northern tier and northeastern Pennsylvania.

A key feature of the building will be a 10,000-square-foot maker/innovation space on first floor.

“Based on what we have seen at other colleges, we expect it to be a centerpiece for collaborations with faculty and students. We are also anticipating partnership with regional business, manufacturing and healthcare. We envision the maker/innovation space will be a dynamic resource for the campus and greater Scranton community,” said Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Scranton, who noted that University is “still building on the considerable consultation we have already done to determine how best to design, equip and structure this space.”

Thanks to the support of Congressman Matt Cartwright, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, the University received $16.62 million for this building project as part of Cartwright’s FY2023 Community Project Funding requests.

“Bringing our fair share of federal tax dollars back to our region is the main reason I ran for Congress,” Rep. Cartwright said. “With this successful Community Project Funding request, I am encouraged that the University of Scranton will have the resources to ensure that our local workforce is properly trained and ready to lead the way in American innovation. The University will play an instrumental role in educating the next generation that will help our community meet the ever-growing demands in STEM related fields.”

The facility will also house laboratories, classrooms, offices and meeting spaces for the University’s Department of Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity and Sociology and the Psychology Department. The building will provide space for the University’s Student Health Services and The Center for Health Education and Wellness, as well as allow room for growth to support academic programs that will emerge in the future.

In addition to Father Marina, Rep. Cartwright and Dr. Maldonado, also speaking at the announcement were Lisa Hall Zielinski, director of The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center, and Edward J. Steinmetz Jr., senior vice president for finance and administration at the University. Hemmler and Camayd (HC Architects) are the architects of the building, which incorporates glass walls, steel and stone into a modern design intended to meet silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification requirements. Quandel Construction will serve as the construction manager.

The University plans to begin use of the building for the fall 2025 semester.

The Keystone Mission Receives Donation from FNCB Bank

The Keystone Mission, the Wilkes-Barre Innovation Center for Homeless & Poverty, received a $5,000 grant from the FNCB Bank, through the FNCB Bank Charitable Foundation. This donation is part of their larger Community Caring initiative. Through community partnerships, Keystone is filling the immediate and long-term needs of those facing homelessness in the Wilkes-Barre area. The facility provides meals, showers, emergency provisions, and daily programming and doubles as the Emergency Shelter – Code Blue during winter. “Since the opening, we have seen a steady increase in the number of guests who come through our doors daily,” says Danielle O. Keith-Alexandre, CEO & Executive Director.

Keystone College Names Dr. Fran Langan Trustee Emerita

Keystone College has named Professor Fran Langan, Ed.D. as Trustee Emerita in recognition for her many years of dedicated service.

Dr. Langan, who  recently retired as Keystone’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Strategic Initiatives, has been affiliated with Keystone since 1980 and has been faculty member since 1985. She will continue to serve Keystone as Special Advisor to Keystone President John F. Pullo, Sr.   

In addition to her most recent position, Dr. Langan served as a professor of education, and  Chair of the Division of Social Sciences, the Division of Education, and Dean of the School of Professional Studies.

Actively involved in educational issues and well-respected as an advocate for quality practitioner education, Dr. Langan has been skilled in securing funding and discovering revenue streams that have helped advance Keystone’s reputation as one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Knowledgeable about local, state, and national funding opportunities, Dr. Langan is also experienced in cultivating private foundation opportunities, specifically targeting program innovation. She is a member of numerous local, state, and national boards and commissions.

“Dr. Langan’s expertise and dedication to Keystone, the field of higher education, and Northeastern Pennsylvania has been legendary,” said President Pullo. “It is an honor to welcome her to the Board of Trustees as Trustee Emerita as we continue to value her knowledge and guidance.”  

“I am honored to begin the next phase of my relationship with Keystone College as  Trustee Emerita,” said Dr. Langan. “Keystone has been such a vital part of my life. I’m looking forward to continuing to be a part of the college community in this new capacity.”       

 Dr. Langan is a graduate of Wilkes University. She received a master’s degree in public administration from Marywood University and a doctorate in education from Temple University. Dr. Langan is also a registered nurse.

The Wright Center Commits to ‘Change Maker Campaign’

Recognizing the risks posed by burnout among health care professionals and persistent physician attrition, The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education recently joined the National Academy of Medicine’s “Change Maker Campaign for Health Workforce Well-Being.”

The academy launched the campaign in October. About 270 organizations, including The Wright Center enterprise, have joined the campaign, committing to institutionalizing well-being as a long-term value.

Other well-recognized campaign members include the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Geisinger, Penn Medicine, and the Veterans Health Administration.

The National Academy of Medicine introduced the campaign to further the goals of its “National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being,” an initiative begun in 2022 and aimed at driving “collective action to strengthen health workforce well-being and restore the health of the nation.”

“The capacity and well-being of the U.S. health workforce has been under threat for years by an epidemic of burnout, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this systems issue,” according to the academy. “Now more nurses, physicians, and state and local public health department employees than ever are considering leaving their professions.”

Addressing the issue is a “shared responsibility,” according to the plan’s promoters at the National Academy of Medicine.

The Wright Center – which provides graduate medical education training opportunities for more than 245 resident and fellow physicians annually – has, in recent years, amplified its efforts to prepare doctors and other clinicians to be resilient, long-term professionals. 

To support the well-being of its workforce, for example, The Wright Center has embraced initiatives such as mental health first aid training and the statewide “CEOs Against Stigma” campaign, both of which help to broaden awareness about depression and mental illness in the workplace. The Wright Center also is pursuing certification in the Sanctuary Model, a proven strategy for enhancing the workplace environment through the direct address of the effects of trauma.

Similarly, The Wright Center has introduced employee wellness programs such as recurring meditation sessions,  reflection and decompression sessions using artistic expression as a medium,  and monthly visits by a therapy dog. These and other activities give clinicians and support staffers a chance to momentarily break from their workday routines and de-stress.

Reflecting its strong commitment to employee wellness, The Wright Center was a recent finalist for the Workplace Excellence Award in the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s annual SAGE Award recognition program.

To learn more about The Wright Center, and view a current list of career opportunities, visit

NEPIRC Releases 2023 Impact Study Results

Throughout 2023, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) provided assistance to 183 regional small and mid-sized manufacturers. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program office recently released a report summarizing the one-year financial and operational impacts of those services based upon voluntary surveys completed by a sampling of those companies over the past 12 months. In total, 74 companies participated in the survey process. Collectively, they reported dynamic results.

The 74 companies attributed a total of $157.9 million of incremental revenue in 2023 to the assistance and advisement they obtained from NEPIRC. These additional revenues, coupled with $12.8 million of annual savings, allowed those same companies to create and retain 1,051 regional manufacturing jobs and invest more than $56.4 million in expansion, modernization and workforce training. More than 93% of the companies surveyed felt that NEPIRC’s services improved their overall competitiveness and nearly 91% indicated that they would refer NEPIRC to other manufacturing firms in need of technical assistance in the areas of continuous improvement, leadership development, technology integration, safety or industry certification.

“Throughout 2023, we saw strong demand of our services and training programs and were optimistic that the impact we’re generating for our clients and region would be impressive,” explains Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s president and CEO. “But these results exceed even our most lofty internal expectations, and we’re very proud of our staff, the manufacturers we serve and their workforce for being so successful.”

Based upon the impact reported by its clients, NEPIRC’s performance places the organization as a top-performer across the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Network and within the top six of more than 50 MEP affiliates nationally in key metrics, such as client reported cost savings, new revenue, retained revenue, regional investment, job creation and job retention.

In addition to providing manufacturers with expert services, training programs, and on-site assessments to enhance their resiliency, profitability, workforce practices and long-term growth, NEPIRC also supports the manufacturing community through its Manufacturing Jobs Board, Manufacturing Ambassador Dream Team, Manufacturer of the Month campaign and other efforts that support the industrial community.

More details regarding NEPIRC’s regional impact and its programs to bolster manufacturing growth are available by contacting