Skills in Scranton Receives Grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation

Skills in Scranton Business Education Partnership, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. This grant will support facilitation of career awareness programs, facilitate collaboration between educational partners and the business community to empower students and job seekers to deepen their knowledge of diverse career pathways.

Business leaders across northeastern Pennsylvania have recognized that workforce development is critical to our economic future, and the long-term success of our youth. Skills in Scranton has established the framework for an industry-led, sector-based approach for addressing skills shortages, developing talent pipelines, and creating meaningful career pathways for a range of workers in these leading industry sectors

“This funding is instrumental in advancing our mission of fostering career awareness and developing a talent pipeline in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “This grant will allow us to strengthen our efforts in connecting with students and job seekers to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to make informed career decisions.”

“Workforce development and career readiness are among the region’s most pressing needs, affecting regional employers and job seekers alike,” said Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “With its robust connection between education, training, and employment, the Business Education Partnership’s community-based approach is an important component in ensuring every individual has access to family-sustaining jobs, creating a thriving community. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation and the Scranton Area Community Foundation are proud to support this very important endeavor.”

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 www.skillsinscranton.com.

Skills in Scranton Hosts First Like Mind Meet Up

Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, hosted its first Like Mind Meet Up on September 20 at the Scranton Enterprise Center, sponsored by Sho Technology Solution. The event featured an array of networking opportunities and a presentation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by local tech experts Jason Washo and John George. Attendees comprised tech professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and AI enthusiasts, all eager to explore the limitless possibilities of AI technology.

Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, with The Chamber, expressed excitement about the prospect of future Like Mind Meet Up events. “We are thrilled with the attendance and engagement for our first Like Mind Meet Up,” Emily stated. “These events provide individuals with similar interests and careers an invaluable opportunity to connect and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.”

For updates on upcoming Like Mind meet-ups, visit scrantonchamber.com.

The Chamber Launches New Workforce Development Resource

Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, has launched a new video series promoting career awareness and highlighting high-priority occupations in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Chamber and its affiliate, Skills in Scranton, are focused on implementing resources to the greater Scranton region as it promotes high-priority jobs. The mission of The Chamber is to attract, sustain, and grow businesses—the new set of career awareness videos will assist in attracting and sustaining employment in the community.

The eight videos in the series are told from employees’ perspectives in diverse industries such as logistics, transportation, healthcare, and elementary education. Viewers will gain valuable insight into the qualifications, training pathways, and employment opportunities for the high-priority careers.

“Career awareness is crucial for empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their professional journey. By shedding light on the occupations available in our area, The Chamber and Skills in Scranton hope to address the skills gap and support a robust talent pipeline in northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

The career awareness video series is made available at SkillsinScranton.com. The videos are supplemented with additional resources, such as a career guide about key tasks and skills, local educational programs, training opportunities, and local employers.

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 www.scrantonchamber.com.

About Skills in Scranton
Skills in Scranton, an affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, focuses on workforce development in the greater Scranton region. For more than 25 years, Skills in Scranton has worked with local employers, school districts, higher education institutions, and Pennsylvania data experts to implement strategies that help ensure our regional workforce is aligned with high-priority jobs of the future. For more information, visit www.SkillsinScranton.com

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 epettinato@scrantonchamber.com or visit www.SkillsinScranton.com.

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 www.scrantonchamber.com.

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.

Skills in Scranton Act 158 Presentation

Skills in Scranton, the Chamber’s workforce development affiliate, will host Act 158: Pathways to Graduation, a virtual presentation on Wednesday, April 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. All school administrators, guidance counselors, educators, school board directors, higher education staff, and community members in Lackawanna County are invited to attend.  

Guest speaker, Sue Kuhl – Pennsylvania career readiness liaison – will discuss the Career Ready PA Coalition, updates impacting Act 158, and provide information to school districts on preparing students in college, career, and community readiness here in Lackawanna County.

For more than 25 years, Skills in Scranton – through its Educator in the Workplace program – has worked with local employers, school districts, higher education partners and Pennsylvania data experts to develop strategies that help ensure the regional workforce is aligned with high-priority jobs of the future.

Those interested in attending can RSVP to Karen Durkin at kdurkin@scrantonchamber.com. Media are also invited to attend.

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Chamber Hires Workforce Development Specialist

The Chamber is proud to announce the addition of Emily Pettinato as the workforce development specialist for Skills in Scranton, the Chamber’s workforce development affiliate.

In this role, Pettinato supports workforce development and talent recruitment initiatives for Skills in Scranton, including managing programs like Workforce Wednesday, Educator in the Workplace, Industry Career Camp, and more. Pettinato’s responsibilities include coordination and implementation of programs with educational institutions and businesses, securing grant and funding opportunities, managing analytics, developing relationships with key workforce segments, and more.

Pettinato has worked in education as a teacher assistant for multiple organizations, as well as having varied experience in communications and business development. Pettinato earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Moravian College and is currently earning her MBA in business administration.