Request for Public Input Hearings in Scranton on Proposed Water Rate Hikes

On Friday, the City of Scranton and Borough of Dunmore sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) formally requesting that the Commission hold public input hearings on Pennsylvania-American Water Company’s (PAWC) outrageous proposed water rate increases.

The letter states, “From all corners of the city, residents have been calling city hall, speaking at city council meetings, discussing with city councilmembers, writing to the newspaper, and posting on social media about the tangible impact these rate increases would have on their household budget.”

In light of this substantial public interest, the City specifically requested that the Commission hold an in-person public hearing in Scranton: “The opportunity for our residents to share their perspective face-to-face would no doubt benefit the Commission in its review of the proposed rate changes. We would be more than happy to offer City Hall as a location for the hearing and to assist in any other way possible.”

According to the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, the PAWC proposal would increase the water bill for a typical residential customer by about 25 percent, from $70.65 per month to $88.24 per month.           

“I’m grateful to the residents who have made their voices heard on these proposed rate hikes and encourage residents to file formal complaints with the PUC. We understand how painful these hikes would be for our residents,” said Mayor Paige G. Cognetti. “This letter signed jointly by Scranton and Dunmore officials continues our advocacy for fair utility rates alongside necessary improvements to make our water infrastructure more sustainable.”

“I’m proud to support the taxpayers of both Scranton and Dunmore in fighting these massive increases over the past two years,” said Scranton City Council President Bill King. “These rate hikes are simply not sustainable to our constituents. Thank you to the many citizens that have reached out to City Council and the Mayor’s Office to express their concerns.”

“I have heard from many residents across the Borough, and there is a consistent sentiment—Dunmoreans cannot bear the burden of another massive utility hike,” said Dunmore Mayor Max Conway. “Borough Council and I are committed to taking action to oppose this increase. We will explore every available avenue to advocate for the well-being of the residents of Dunmore.”

The letter was sent in advance of the Public Utilities Commission’s pre-hearing on the rate cases, which is expected to take place in late December. Residents can file formal complaints with the PUC here: The PUC Case Docket Numbers are R-2023-3043189 (water) and R-2023-3043190 (wastewater).

Skills in Scranton Awarded 2023 American Water Charitable Foundation Workforce Readiness Grant

Skills in Scranton announced today it was awarded a 2023 American Water Charitable Foundation Workforce Readiness Grant, focusing on developing and promoting career pathway education resources and community outreach.

‘This grant will fuel Skills in Scranton’s mission to develop impactful career pathway educational resources, empowering individuals to explore diverse career opportunities and chart their own paths to success,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “We believe this grant will be instrumental in furthering our mission to develop a talent pipeline into our region’s leading industry sectors.”

The Workforces Readiness grant is part of the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program.  The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established by American Water, the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., and aims to support high-impact projects and initiatives that further American Water’s commitment to ESG, as well as inclusion, diversity and equity.

“The American Water Charitable Foundation is dedicated to engaging and investing in initiatives that improve the wellbeing of communities served by American Water,” said Carrie Williams, President, American Water Charitable Foundation. We take pride in supporting American Water’s continued efforts to be a responsible neighbor and reliable partner in the community.”
Learn more about our mission and community impact at

Educator in the Workplace Finishes 2023 Cohort

Scranton, PA—Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, concluded the 2023 Educator in the Workplace (EIW) program on Thursday, May 4. The program was partially 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.

Twenty-six participants, including teachers, school counselors, principals, administrators, and school board directors, participated in the cohort, learning about Northeastern PA’s in-demand careers and industries. Various sessions included a State of the Workforce presentation, tour of the Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County, an in-depth look into manufacturing regionally, on-site business tours, presentations by CareerLink Lackawanna and a facilitated curriculum writing session.

“The EIW program provides an opportunity for educators to learn from and network with community business leaders and peers from adjacent school districts,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “Participants share best practices, career pathways resources and essential career skills that can be brought back to their districts and integrated into classroom instruction. The resources provided by the EIW program is supporting the development of a robust regional talent pipeline.”

Throughout the 2023 EIW program, the participants have applied what was learned during the program integrating basic workforce skills into classroom instruction. Takeaway lessons included interviewing, resume writing, clocking into class to earn credit, and simulating real-time workplace practices.

The Chamber and Skills in Scranton have begun preparations for next year’s EIW cohorts.  For more information or to register for future EIW programs, contact Emily Pettinato at or visit

The 2023 Educator in the Workplace participants Include:

  1. Johanna Chorba, Scranton School District
  2. Thomas Murray, Scranton School District
  3. Hayley Miller, Scranton School District
  4. Laurie Marino, Valley View School District
  5. John Fox, Riverside School District
  6. Richard Hensel, Scranton School District
  7. Karlene Cicco, Scranton School District
  8. Bonnie Baker, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
  9. Samantha Masco, Carbondale Area School District
  10. Licia Olivetti, Carbondale Area School District
  11. Dalyana Gillette, Scranton School District
  12. John Ray, Scranton School District
  13. Nanine Gramigna, Scranton School District
  14. Jessica Norris, Scranton School District
  15. Gabrielle Pidgeon, Carbondale Area School District
  16. Amanda O’Brien, Scranton School District
  17. Carrie Wittenbrader, Western Wayne School District
  18. Jessica Capwell, NEIU19
  19. Melinda Arcuri, Marywood University Adult Basic Literacy Education Program
  20. Sandy Morahan, Forest City School District
  21. Teri Erdmann, Forest City School District
  22. Katelyn Phillips, Lakeland School District
  23. Larry Pegula, Valley View School District
  24. Lori Kelley, Valley View School District
  25. Christina Burak, Valley View School District
  26. Mary Swift, Scranton School District

About Skills in Scranton

Skills in Scranton, an affiliate organization of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, integrate workforce and economic development through collaborative partnerships, connecting industry and education to drive local economic prosperity.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit

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.

Pennsylvania American Water Systems Recognized for 20 Consecutive Years of Excellent Tap Water

Customers of Pennsylvania American Water can rest assured of the quality of their tap water, as 17 of the company’s water treatment plants were recently recognized by the Partnership for Safe Water at the Directors and Presidents levels for achieving water quality excellence. The national awards, which honor efforts to continuously optimize water treatment plant and distribution system operation and performance, were announced by the American Water Works Association.

“Maintaining these levels of quality demonstrates Pennsylvania American Water’s continued commitment to optimizing treatment processes and providing high-quality water to customers,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Through the past year – pandemic and all – the dedicated teams who support these systems have continued their work every day to deliver tap water that is safe, clean, reliable, and meets or surpasses state and federal drinking water standards. I am so proud of our team for receiving more Partnership for Safe Water awards than any other water utility in the nation.”

The Pennsylvania American Water treatment plants recognized this year are listed below. A full list of the company’s award-winning water systems can be found here.

20 Year Directors Award

  • Brownsville Water Treatment Plant (Fayette County)
  • Crystal Lake Water Treatment Plant (Luzerne County)
  • Kane Water Treatment Plant (McKean County)
  • Lake Scranton Water Treatment Plant (Lackawanna County)
  • Norristown Water Treatment Plant (Montgomery County)
  • Punxsutawney Water Treatment Plant (Jefferson County)
  • Susquehanna Water Treatment Plant (Susquehanna County)
  • Watres Water Treatment Plant (Luzerne County)
  • White Deer Water Treatment Plant (Union County)

10 Year Directors Award

  • Stony Garden Water Treatment Plant (Northampton County)

5 Year Presidents Award

  • Bangor Water Treatment Plant (Northampton County)
  • Brownell Water Treatment Plant (Lackawanna County)
  • Crystal Lake Water Treatment Plant (Luzerne County)
  • Hershey/GC Smith Water Treatment Plant (Dauphin County)
  • Indiana Water Treatment Plant (Indiana County)
  • Nesbitt Water Treatment Plant (Luzerne County)

5 Year Directors Award

  • Rock Run Water Treatment Plant (Chester County)

“We’re proud of our incredible team of expert scientists, treatment plant operators and
engineers that support our water systems,” Doran continued. “This impressive award demonstrates their dedication and commitment to protecting the health and safety of our customers for the past 20 years and beyond.”

Nationally, just over 400 surface water treatment plants are part of the Partnership for Safe Water, a voluntary effort that is designed to increase protection against microbial contamination through treatment optimization.