A United Front: County and Chamber Work Together to Expand Business and Workforce Development in the Region

Scranton, PA–June 7, 2024— Lackawanna County and The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announced a strategic partnership focused on business and workforce development at a press conference on Wednesday, June 12.

Held at The Chamber, County Commissioners Bill Gaughan, Matt McGloin, and Chris Chermak, along with Chamber President Bob Durkin, presented The Chamber will primarily be managing business development, marketing, and lead management for Lackawanna County. These efforts will be in collaboration with the County’s Planning and Economic Development Office. The strong united front will allow a streamlined process, reduce duplication of efforts, and ensure a coordinated approach to economic development.

The Chamber’s Board Chair, Attorney Jerry Musheno, commented, “This partnership represents a significant step forward in our mission to attract, sustain, and grow business and jobs in northeastern Pennsylvania. By leveraging our combined resources and expertise, we will create a thriving economic environment for our community.”

In the multi-year plan presented at the press conference, Lackawanna County Commissioner Bill Gaughan emphasized the pledge of $495,000 to enhance economic development and entrepreneurship in the county. Over three years, the County will provide a total of $75,000 to support the program and administrative management at the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center (CTTC). The CTTC is an entrepreneur and light-industrial incubation program. The Chamber entered a management agreement with the CTTC board of directors over a year ago.

“The County and The Chamber have been partners on many projects throughout the years. What we are doing today is solidifying and formalizing the economic and workforce partnership for the future. Building on years of success at The Chamber and committing County resources to support small businesses—which are the economic engine of Lackawanna County,” shared Commissioner Bill Gaughan.

In addition, the County has allotted $420,000 to fund three additional cohorts of TechCelerator @LackawannaCounty—the 10-week entrepreneur training program for tech-based, for-profit ideation businesses. The County has funded two cohorts that graduated 15 entrepreneurs in conjunction with The Chamber, INGITE, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEPA, and tecBRIDGE.

“This collaboration aims to attract new businesses, support the expansion of existing ones, create job opportunities, and further bolster entrepreneurial support. We will focus on key industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, food and beverage production, energy, technology, and bio/life sciences, aligning with Pennsylvania’s economic development strategic plan. Additionally, we are committed to providing entrepreneurs with the resources and support networks they need to succeed in Lackawanna County, enhancing opportunities for companies in light industrial and kitchen incubation,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber.

SACF To Host Press Conference

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is hosting a press conference on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Hilton Scranton Hotel & Conference Center to announce that it was selected to serve as a host site for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Workforce Leadership Academy, a fellowship program designed by the Aspen Institute designed to support leaders in workforce development committed to the advancement of the regional workforce ecosystem. The Scranton Area Community Foundation was one of only eight organizations chosen from across the country selected through a competitive process to deliver an Academy in partnership with the Aspen Institute.  Other cities selected include Tucson, Detroit, Cleveland, Memphis, San Antonio, Baltimore, and Buffalo.

The Workforce Leadership Academy will bring leaders – recognized as Fellows of the Academy – from across the local workforce ecosystem together for a year-long series of retreats, workshops, and action learning projects. Fellows work with leading practitioners throughout the country as they deepen networks; strengthen systems leadership skills; apply race, equity, and systems change frameworks to their work; and increase understanding of effective strategies and programs.  An advisory board comprised of regional experts will help to shape the Academy.

WHAT: Members of the media are invited to a press conference including Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, The Institute’s Executive Director Teri Ooms, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Durkin, NEPA Black Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations Rashida Lovely, and Scranton Area Community Foundation President and CEO Laura Ducceschi.

WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Hilton Scranton Hotel & Conference Center (2nd floor outside the Casey Ballroom)