Northeast Regional Cancer Institute Receives $45,000 in ARPA Funds

The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute recently received a $45,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) nonprofit recovery grant from the City of Scranton to support the Community-Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program. 

Funds will be used for software upgrades to streamline Navigation Program operations and enhance data security.  

“NRCI is extremely appreciative of this funding support from the City of Scranton. These upgrades will allow for program growth, increase the number of people screened for cancer, and help save lives through early detection”, according to 

Laura Toole, Executive Vice President at the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute.  

This funding was awarded as part of the City of Scranton’s open applications for nonprofit organizations. 

PennDOT Announces Electric Vehicle Funding

Today, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Andrew Rogers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced the first round of conditional awards for federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding. These awards further the Shapiro Administration’s work to address climate change, grow the Commonwealth’s economy, and ensure that the future of Pennsylvania transportation is on track to be cleaner, safer, more affordable, and more reliable than ever before. 

Fifty-four projects in 35 counties were selected to expand access to and the reliability of electric vehicle charging within Pennsylvania. The $33.8 million federal investment is part of the $171.5 million PennDOT will receive and distribute for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure over five years through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). 

“Our team worked diligently to meet federal NEVI requirements while spreading opportunities among various companies and communities,” Carroll said. “Because of Governor Shapiro’s leadership and record of delivering for Pennsylvanians, we are among the first states distributing these funds to provide travelers with options and confidence while also benefitting our environment. These new investments will create good paying jobs and allow Pennsylvanian residents, businesses, and visitors to travel across the Commonwealth faster, cleaner, and more reliably.”

The conditional awards include various recipients – including seven Pennsylvania headquarters – and site locations across the state. Four federally compliant charging ports will be funded at each charging location with 216 total funded charging ports. Twenty-two of the projects are in or within half a mile of state or federally-designated disadvantaged communities. View the conditional award list by county, on the department’s NEVI web page.

“Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we can strengthen and expand our electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” Senator Casey said. “This funding will allow us to deploy electric vehicle charging stations across our Commonwealth, from cities to suburbs to rural areas, promoting energy security, creating jobs, and reducing our carbon footprint.”

Moving forward, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public involvement process will begin for each project. Projects can begin after those processes are successfully completed and agreements with each recipient are executed. Some projects may begin as early as late 2023. 

“In Pennsylvania and across the country, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building the backbone of our national network of EV charging stations that will ensure a seamless experience for drivers when they’re charging up – similar payment systems, clear pricing information, interoperable connector types, and reliable charging speeds as we make the historic transition to electric vehicles,” Rogers said. “With federal investments made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Pennsylvania is taking a critical step forward as States across our nation begin deploying EV chargers for the communities they serve, and we are proud partner with them in this shared project.”

The NEVI funding supports the Commonwealth and federal goal of expanding EV charging along the previously designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) and Interstate lookalikes. Pennsylvania has over 1,800 miles of AFCs. Per the guidance from U.S. DOT, NEVI formula funds must first be used to “build out” designated AFCs (meaning there must be no more than 50 miles between stations and less than 1 mile from an AFC exit) and meet U.S. DOT minimum standards and requirements. 

The PA NEVI program includes multiple rounds of funding. During Round 1 selection, the focus was on building out the AFC network along the interstates to meet the NEVI requirements. Once AFCs are fully built out, PennDOT will shift to expanding the NEVI Formula Program funding to fund right-sized EV chargers for Pennsylvania’s community charging.

“Northeast Pennsylvania is leading the way by taking full advantage of the bipartisan infrastructure law and the resources it affords,” said Congressman Matt Cartwright. “With today’s announcement, we’re taking another big step forward in building out our electric vehicle charging network, modernizing our infrastructure, and creating good-paying jobs.”

Projects were evaluated on a competitive basis following federal requirements and other factors:

  • Choosing a variety of recipients not only statewide but also along individual AFCs;
  • Projects that provided a variety of amenities and services to improve customer experience (such as varied payment options);
  • Positive local economic development and workforce opportunities; and
  • Locations that are welcoming, safe, and accessible for all.

The NEVI funds support the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of charging sites. The PA NEVI program is a reimbursement program and applicants are required to provide a minimum 20% match. PennDOT received 271 unique funding submissions requesting $165.4 million for this round of investments.

Today’s event was held at the Scranton Electricians JATC Training Center. All electricians installing, operating, or maintaining EV supply equipment must have a certification from the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) or graduation or a continuing education certificate from a registered apprenticeship program. Where more than one electrician is required, at least one electrician must meet the requirements above, and at least one electrician must be enrolled in an electrical registered apprenticeship program.

While Round 1 NEVI projects progress, PennDOT continues meeting federal deadlines for additional funding rounds and working toward closing all AFC gaps while expanding community charging access.  Round 1 and 1a will focus exclusively on the AFC network. The department anticipates opening Round 1a later this fall with approximately $20 million available.  

Additionally, on August 1, PennDOT submitted its Federal Fiscal Year 2024 NEVI Plan Update for federal review. The public may share input on the plan through an online survey or emailing PennDOT will make all reasonable modifications to policies, programs, and documents to ensure that people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency have an equal opportunity to provide feedback on Pennsylvania’s transportation network. If you have other questions or challenges, contact PennDOT’s Bureau of Equal Opportunity to request help by emailing or calling 717-787-5891; TTY (711).

For more information on NEVI funds in Pennsylvania visit the PennDOT website.

Pennsylvania can compete for billions of dollars in federal funds across a wide range of federal grant programs through the BIL, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). To help communities and organizations learn about these opportunities, PennDOT created a web page,, with details on federal grant opportunities to help municipalities, townships, and other community agencies with understanding the multiple transportation program grants that are available. The page includes Grant Alerts, guides, and links to important resources for local municipalities and organizations interested in pursuing federal funding opportunities

Information about state infrastructure in Pennsylvania, including completed work and significant projects, is available at Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at

ECCR Group to Offer Free Lending Training for Small Businesses

The ECCR Group – a business coaching organization – was recently awarded a grant to provide free training to start-ups and small businesses located in NEPA on funding and lending. Learn more about the Fundability Coaching Program here.

The mission of the ECCR Group is to provide business owners with business coaching opportunities. Business coaching helps small business owners start, revive, or grow their business, so they can live a quality life and establish a strong foundation for serving their customers. Executive coaching builds leadership skills that help small businesses grow into large ones. Strong leadership builds a business by helping you identify the right individuals to put on your team.

AllOne Foundation Funding to Enhance Services to Isolated Older Adults

To help older adults maintain their independence in the community, the AllOne Foundation provided a three-year grant award allowing The Wright Center for Community Health and the separately operated Telespond Senior Services to deliver critical programming such as adult day care.

AllOne Foundation CEO John W. Cosgrove recently presented a ceremonial check representing the final installment of the grant funding, which in total amounted to $1.156 million.

The joint initiative to support successful aging in place among residents of Lackawanna, Luzerne and nearby counties began in early 2020, just as the COVID-19 outbreak hit Northeast Pennsylvania. The pandemic forced Telespond to temporarily scale back or suspend many of its services, which include an in-home personal care program and a senior companion program. At the same time, concerns were raised locally and globally about the impact of the pandemic on socially isolated older adults who might be prone to developing behavioral health issues such as substance use disorder, anxiety and depression.

Since then, Telespond has better positioned itself for the long-term continuity of its services, reviving and expanding its medical model adult day care program as well as recruiting volunteers for its senior companion program. Telespond also implemented a transportation program for its clients, renovated its building on Scranton’s Saginaw Street and made many other improvements.

“With the vital support from AllOne Foundation and all of our partners, our organization has made tremendous strides toward developing into the strong nonprofit ally that area seniors and their families can rely on for services that promote dignity and provide a viable alternative to retirement homes,” said Joseph J. Grilli, president and CEO of Senior Day Services, a Telespond Company.

The Wright Center serves as fiscal agent for the grant award, providing Telespond with resources, guidance and expertise as Telespond repositions itself for growth of its service area and sustained impact.

“The Wright Center recognizes how socially isolated seniors can be particularly vulnerable to both mental and physical decline,” said Meaghan Ruddy, the organization’s senior vice president of academic affairs, enterprise assessment and advancement, and chief research and development officer. “Our team members – including our executives, geriatrics providers and support staff –

have been privileged to work with Telespond’s leadership to enhance the community-based supports available to our region’s most mature and venerable residents.”

The grant-funded project is scheduled to continue through March 2023.

AllOne Foundation, based in Wilkes-Barre, works independently or collectively to enhance the present health care delivery system of Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania and to be innovative, creative and collaborative in crafting new ways of improving the health and welfare of the people of our region.

Telespond, based in Scranton and serving the area since 1974, assists older adults and their caregivers through a range of programs including an on-site adult day care program, non-medical in-home personal care services and a senior companion program in which volunteers provide seniors with friendly company and help with day-to-day activities.

The Wright Center for Community Health is headquartered in Scranton and operates nine primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties, offering services to patients of all ages. In July 2020, it formally established a geriatrics service line, and it also has begun an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program. The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education offers multiple residency and fellowship programs, including a Geriatrics Fellowship.

Lackawanna Heritage Valley Partnership Grant Funding

Lackawanna Heritage Valley has announced the start of a new spring cycle of partnership grant funding, open for application through March 11 at 12 p.m.

The program is open to members of non-profit and civic organizations, municipal and governmental agencies, and educational institutions with proposals for projects designed to enhance the quality of life within the Lackawanna Heritage Valley. Successful grant applicants will receive up to $5,000 each to conserve, preserve, and educate the public about Northeastern Pennsylvania’s historic, cultural, economic and natural resources.

Lackawanna Heritage Valley, designated as both a national and state heritage area, has provided more than three million dollars in funding assistance to community organizations through its Partnership Grants Program since its inception. Given the dire funding constraints and lack of community programming brought on by the ongoing health crisis, the organization feels this round of grants is perhaps one of its most crucial.

Justin Topa, community engagement and programs manager, hopes that Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s spring grant program will continue the organization’s work toward stimulating the region’s economy, enhancing tourism initiatives, strengthening community organizations and increasing the quality of life for area residents.  

“We are proud to support our creative local partners who help us to tell the region’s story and to preserve and conserve our natural resources,” Topa said. “With each successful grant cycle, we invest in our history, our resources and the families in our communities. In a year that presents unique challenges, we hope that this year’s applicants will find creative ways to showcase our region’s story of perseverance and the strength in working together.”

For general information about the heritage area, or for grant program guidelines and applications, those interested are asked to visit or call Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s office, via (570) 963-6730.

Broadband Funding Webinar

Please join the Office of US Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and officials from the US Department of Agriculture and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for an educational conversation on available broadband funding opportunities for Pennsylvania communities. Any questions or concerns may be directed to

MetroAction Launches COVID Recovery Loan Program

MetroAction, Inc. – the non-profit, small business financing affiliate of the Chamber – announced its launch of the Lackawanna County COVID Recovery Loan Program, created to provide capital to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program provides low-interest loans to Lackawanna County businesses for working capital purposes. Eligible uses include, but are not limited to, lease or mortgage payments, utility payments, payroll, and other operational expenses. In addition, businesses can use the loan capital to purchase machinery, equipment, or technology that will allow the business to expand its operations.

The program will provide loans up to $25,000 at 1% to Lackawanna County businesses adversely impacted by the COVID pandemic. The term for the loans will be 36 months with a 3 month payment deferral. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose great challenges for our small business community. This fund was established to support Lackawanna County businesses with day-to-day operations as well as growth opportunities,” stated Jack Reager, MetroAction President. 

Funding is limited for this loan program.  Applications will be funded on a first approved, first funded basis. 

Funding for this program was provided by Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises (LIFE), Lackawanna County, the Hawk Family Foundation, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

Businesses can apply and find additional program information on

Rep. Boback Announces State Funds for Lackawanna Trail School District Building Project

The Lackawanna Trail School District today was awarded $500,000 for a major building project through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), announced Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) who played a key role in securing the state funding. 

“I am a strong supporter of this community improvement project and am pleased the governor approved it for funding,” said Boback. “The Lackawanna Trail School District has always been a hub of activity for the area, sponsoring various events to benefit students, as well as nonprofit organizations. This multi-purpose facility will enhance the district’s ability to continue that important community outreach and I look forward to its completion.”

Specifically, the RACP grant will go toward the construction of a free-standing, energy-efficient educational facility at the high school complex. It will consist of a technology center, physical education classrooms, exercise rooms and educational support rooms for the community that lacks adequate broadband and technology infrastructure. The building will use energy efficient lighting, HVAC and building envelope materials to satisfy green technology standards.

Funding for this RACP grant and others was authorized by lawmakers in the Capital Budget Project Itemization Act. RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects with a focus on job creation.

More Than 96,000 Jobs Supported Through NBT Bank’s PPP Funding Efforts

Since the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) opened in 2020, NBT Bank has funded over 6,000 loans exceeding $830 million in relief. These funds support small businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the communities NBT serves.

“With more than $285 million secured through 3,000 loans in 2021, the average size PPP loan at NBT for this most recent round of funding was $94,000,” said NBT Bank President and CEO John H. Watt, Jr. “In total, we provided support to organizations that employ 96,000 workers.”

The organizations supported by the PPP loans secured through NBT Bank include numerous main street retailers and minority and women-owned businesses, as well as rural hospitals and nursing homes, human and family services organizations, farms and other agricultural businesses, educational institutions, manufacturers, restaurants, contractors and construction businesses.

“The banking industry has played a crucial role in delivering relief through the PPP loan program to provide businesses and non-profits and their employees with a bridge to the post-pandemic economy. At NBT, we are proud of our team and their efforts to leverage our lending, operational and technical expertise to aggressively support this program,” concluded Watt.