The Chamber Launches 2023 Educator in the Workplace Program

Scranton, PA—Skills in Scranton, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development affiliate organization, welcomed 26 participants to the 2023 Educator in the Workplace Program.

Educator in the Workplace seeks to enhance classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness for the workplace of today and tomorrow by connecting educators and school board directors with local business and industry leaders.

The 26 educators will participate in at least five one-day virtual and in-person learning sessions.

What are program participants doing?

  • Participating in and exploring career pathways in local businesses and industries
  • Interacting directly with business community leaders, gaining insight into the skills students need to succeed in their future careers
  • Establishing connections to business and industry leaders in Lackawanna County’s leading and emerging industry sectors
  • Learning about local businesses and employment opportunities

“Educator in the Workplace seeks to align and connect business and industry leaders with local school districts, the career and technical center, and the local intermediate unit,” said Amy Luyster, Vice President. “Program participants are provided experiences interacting directly with industry and business leaders to learn about industry trends, needs, and opportunities to enhance their classroom instruction, student learning, and career readiness.

This program is partly funded by the City of Scranton American Rescue Plan (ARPA) Non-Profit Covid Relief Grant and sponsored by Pennsylvania American Water and the Scranton Area Community Foundation.

NEPIRC Professional Achieves Lead Auditor Designation

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) is pleased to announce that the organization’s Lean Enterprise Consultant, Brian Matyjevich, recently completed the British Standards Institution’s (BSI’s) ISO 14001:2015 Lead Auditor Training course and successfully obtained designation as an ISO 14001:2015 Lead Auditor with competencies in Environmental Management Systems, Management Systems Auditing and Leading Management Systems Audit Teams. Mr. Matyjevich’s designation as an ISO 14001:2015 Lead Auditor complements his existing professional portfolio, which includes ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016 Rev D Internal Auditor credentials, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Professional and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certificates, along with numerous environmental and project management credentials. 

BSI is an Exemplar Global certified training provider and examiner certification provider. Mr. Matyjevich’s completion of BSI’s review course and related examinations document his abilities in designing and carrying out environment audits in compliance with the guidelines for ISO 14001 on behalf of clients; assisting clients in evaluating their ISO 14001 strategy and accomplishing ISO 14001 certification in an expedient and cost-effective way; leading client ISO 14001 audit teams; and helping companies better understand the applicability and benefits of environmental management and the ISO 14001 standard.

“Companies that have implemented an environmental management strategy and achieved ISO 14001 certification have recognized improved overall efficiencies, reduced operating costs, enhanced stakeholder and customer relationships and better success in winning new business as environmental impacts enter more and more procurement specifications and customer requirements,” said Mr. Matyjevich. Since joining NEPIRC in 2020, Mr. Matyjevich has assisted a multitude of manufacturers in developing environmental, workplace safety and continuous improvement systems.

Manufacturers across NEPIRC’s 11-county service region are encouraged to contact Mr. Matyjevich at to schedule a one-on-one no-cost environmental strategy consultation with him and a NEPIRC Business Advisor. Brian also offers no-cost Employee Health & Safety Gemba Walks and assessments to manufacturers across northeastern, northern and parts of central Pennsylvania.

NEPIRC Helps Manufacturers in Statewide Industrial Resource Center (IRC) Program

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) recently received data voluntarily provided to independent researchers by 541 small and mid-sized manufacturing firms across Pennsylvania throughout 2022, and subsequently verified by the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirm that 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 amidst a turbulent economy. Over the past 12 months, manufacturers that utilized IRC professional services avoided 4,099 layoffs while adding 1,226 full-time workers to their payrolls. They also realized $398.9 million in retained sales and secured $108.9 million of new customer orders as results of their IRC assistance.  

In addition to growing their workforces and increasing top-line revenue numbers, companies that performed consultative projects with their regional IRC reduced their non-personnel operating costs by $43.1 million over the past 12 months and invested more than $212 million in new equipment, facility expansion, advanced technologies and workforce training. 

Over the past three years, since the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, services provided by the IRCs across Pennsylvania have enabled manufacturers to avoid 12,565 layoffs, create 3,506 new manufacturing jobs and increase revenues by nearly $370 million.

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, nearly 2,000 small and mid-sized manufacturers across Pennsylvania called upon their regional IRC to help them address the lingering challenges of the pandemic, the emerging threats of unpredictable domestic and global economies and the persistent shortage of qualified workers. The outstanding results reported by the 541 companies selected to participate in the impact process conducted by an outside entity are impressive – but also reflect just a fraction of the true impact of IRC services upon Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, President & CEO of NEPIRC, the IRC that services manufacturers across northeastern, northern and north central Pennsylvania.  

In addition to providing specific monetized impacts, 442 of the 541 firms that participated in the study indicated that working with their IRC improved their overall competitiveness, and 468 stated that they anticipate using their IRC again in the future and would recommend their IRC to other Pennsylvania manufacturers. More detailed survey analyses are available by contacting

NEPRIC PMAC Releases Playbook for Competitiveness

As Pennsylvania’s third-largest employment sector – with more than 560,000 full-time workers generating nearly $115 billion of goods last year alone – manufacturing drives Pennsylvania’s overall economy.  On August 31, 2022, the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council, a nonpartisan partnership of manufacturers and industry experts, released Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Playbook – an actionable strategy document that identifies three game changers and 10 specific recommendations to make Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy more robust and resilient – thus creating more good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians.

The efforts of the industry-led, 25-member Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council were focused on developing recommendations that government leaders across the Commonwealth should consider as ways to expand Pennsylvania’s manufacturing economy. The Council’s resultant Playbook includes data and advice derived from insights and commentary offered by more than 500 Pennsylvania manufacturers.

“Over the course of the past year, the Council conducted industry roundtables, one-on-one interviews, and surveys to learn directly from manufacturers what statewide policy and programmatic or procedural changes would most immediately and dramatically enhance their ability to compete, win and grow in today’s economy, and the Council’s report reflects that knowledge and insight,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, President and CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center and Council Co-Chair.

Through careful analysis of industry input, the Council, within its Playbook, recommends three game changers for strengthening Pennsylvania’s manufacturing competitive position:

  • Recapture Pennsylvania’s manufacturing competitive advantage by aggressively pursuing manufacturing growth sectors to drive prosperity.
  • Invest in the factory of the future to boost the performance of small and medium-sized companies, improve the quality of manufacturing jobs and provide better career options for more of Pennsylvania’s citizens.
  • Unleash the power of advanced manufacturing to drive regional prosperity through policies and services that are more responsive to the needs of manufacturers.