Fourth Annual Workforce Summit and Carrer Fair Landed Success

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and its workforce development affiliate, Skills in Scranton, hosted the SKILLS 2024: Workforce Summit & Career Fair. The event was held at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel and served as a platform for connecting high school students, job seekers, and regional employers, facilitating invaluable networking opportunities and fostering career development and pathways education. Lackawanna County was the main event sponsor.

The SKILLS 2024 event hosted more than 100 high school seniors looking for employment upon graduation, career pathways exploration, and the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Additionally, the Summit drew numerous job seekers from across the region, all seeking employment opportunities, with the 50 regional employers in attendance.

Scranton School Board President Ty Holmes shared, “The Workforce Summit and Career Fair is a great resource for high school students. I heard one student say, “I didn’t know this…” and it was in reference to a student talking with an employer about their career options.”

“We were pleased to have been able to add unique elements to this year’s Workforce Summit. Public employment resources, access to regional workforce data, and connections to students from area high schools added to the core components of the job fair, with over 50 local employers on hand,” shared Robert Durkin, president of The Chamber.

Throughout the day, attendees had the chance to interact with representatives from a diverse array of industries, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and more. Employers showcased their organizations, shared information about available job opportunities, and engaged in meaningful conversations with prospective candidates.

The SKILLS 2024: Workforce Summit & Career Fair not only provided attendees with a platform to connect and network but also featured informative sessions on topics such as resume writing, interview skills, and professional development. Keynote speaker Teri Ooms, president and CEO of The Institute, paved the way for attendees and employers to learn about the status of the workforce. Identify pros and cons; Ooms shared the research The Institute has done to evaluate top-priority careers and the shortage of workers vs. employers.

As the event concluded, both employers and attendees expressed enthusiasm about the connections made and the opportunities presented. The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Skills in Scranton look forward to building on this success and continuing to support workforce development initiatives in the region.

Regional Business Leaders Encouraged to Complete Survey

Business leaders in select counties in Northeast Pennsylvania are being asked to complete an online regional workforce survey that is being conducted in support of Project PROGRESS, a collaborative program that advocates for people in recovery by seeking to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder and connecting them with family-sustaining employment and educational opportunities.

The Institute, a nonprofit applied research and economic consulting organization, recently distributed the brief survey through the local chambers of commerce and other business organizations in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties that are served by the Project Providing Recovery Opportunities for Growth, Education and Sustainable Success (Project PROGRESS) initiative.

Spearheaded by The Wright Center for Community Health, Project PROGRESS participating organizations include Luzerne County Community College, Northeast PA Area Health Education Center, The Institute and Wayne Pike Workforce Alliance.

Project PROGRESS helps employers meet their workforce needs while assisting prospective workers in securing and maintaining employment – an important recovery milestone. To accomplish its goals, The Institute is gathering data to educate program organizers on the need for substance use disorder education and support in the region. The short survey is part of the data-gathering process and will require less than 10 minutes to complete. It is entirely confidential. Employers requesting additional information will be referred to

Project PROGRESS is funded in part through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission along with financial support from several partner organizations. “The goal of the project is to reduce the impact of stigma related to recovery on employees, employers and the region. People who are committed to their recovery make excellent employees. Their work ethic and dedication to their employer are unmatched,” said Meaghan Ruddy, Ph.D., senior vice president of Academic Affairs, Enterprise Assessment and Advancement, and chief research and development officer for The Wright Center for Community Health.

In November 2020, Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state health emergency due to the opioid epidemic. From 2015 to 2018, 1,149 people died from opioid overdoses in the project’s six-county service area, according to OverdoseFreePA.

“A community’s capacity to create anything at the community level will in large part rely on the community’s understanding of a need and their commitment to creating solutions to meet that need. Leadership and innovative organizations in the six counties of focus for Project PROGRESS are painfully aware of the impact the opioid crisis is having on our friends and neighbors,” added Dr. Ruddy. 

For more information about Project PROGRESS, please go to or email or call 570-591-5136.