Now Enrolling Students in Forklift Operator Training Course

Johnson College’s Continuing Education program is offering a Forklift Operator Training Course on Saturday, May 8, 2021, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Diesel Truck Technology Center on the College’s campus in Scranton. The cost of the course is $200, but if you are a current Johnson College student or alumni the cost is only $100. Space is limited! Visit or contact our Continuing Education team at 570-702-8979 or to learn more and enroll.

The forklift operator training is designed to familiarize students with OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Requirements (29CFR Standard 1910.178 and ASME B56.1), provide current training requirements under the newly adopted standards, and assist participants in becoming an authorized operator of forklifts through theory and tactile testing. Nine hours of instruction including pre-operational inspection, picking up, traveling, and placing loads, parking procedures, refueling, and practical operation.

Tech Talk with Johnson College Podcast with guest, Michele Bannon, Now Available

In this episode of Tech Talk with Johnson College, Dr. Katie Leonard welcomes Michele Bannon, City Clerk for the city of Carbondale. They discuss Michele’s 27-year career in public service and the amazing perspective she has gained along the way. As well as her commitment to the non-profit NeighborWorks and the benefits that come from being a part of something bigger than yourself. To listen to all of the Tech Talk with Johnson College Podcast episodes and learn more visit The podcasts are also available on iTunes and Spotify.

Michele Bannon is the daughter of Rita Enslin Bannon and Gerald Bannon. She has four brothers and one sister, two nieces, two nephews, and two God Children. Michele is a 1987 graduate of Carbondale Area High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Political Science, and Public Administration from Wilkes University in 1991. She has served as City Clerk for the City of Carbondale since 1994.

Michele enjoys participating in all aspects of the Community. She finds great joy in sharing her gifts and time. She is madly and passionately in love with her wonderful family and friends along with many Fairy Godchildren. They are the source of who she is as a human being. They make her life very full.

From Headlights to Taillights: Are hybrids worth the hype?

By Mark Kozemko, Johnson College’s Automotive Technology Program Director. Originally published in the March 26, 2021 edition of the Valley Advantage.

One of the most pressing issues in our society and the world is finding ways to save the environment. One way the automotive industry is helping is by producing more fuel-efficient and alternate fuel vehicles. For our conversation today, we’re going to focus on one type of fuel-efficient vehicle, the hybrid.

Before we get to the questions, let’s define the word hybrid. It means something that is made by combining two or more different things to make one thing. Since I’m a dog lover, please allow me to use this analogy. Golden doodles are considered a hybrid dog breed because a breeder had a golden retriever mate with a poodle. Thus, the extremely popular golden doodle breed was born.

When we say a vehicle is a hybrid, we’re referring to a vehicle that has an internal combustion engine/gasoline engine and an electric motor working together. This allows the vehicle to run economically and helps lower the vehicle’s emissions, which is better for the environment

Now that we know what a hybrid vehicle is, let’s get to some of the questions that were sent in on the subject.

Our first question is, “Will I see a substantial saving on fuel if I drive a hybrid?”

Yes, you will save money because the hybrid engine has an increased fuel mileage compared to a gasoline engine vehicle. It also releases less emissions. According to the estimated miles per gallon on a 2017 Toyota Prius 1.8L 4 cylinder was 52mpg highway and 50mpg city and the estimated miles per gallon of a 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid 2.5L 4 cylinder was the same at 52mgp highway and 50mpg city. In this technician’s opinion, that’s pretty good fuel mileage. A standard 2018 gasoline only 2.5L 4 cylinder Camry fuel mileage compares at 32mpg highway and 28mpg city.

Our second question is, “Does a hybrid vehicle have to be plugged in to charge the battery?”

Even though the electric motor in a hybrid vehicle runs on electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery, it does not get plugged in for recharging. Hybrid vehicles have what is called a regenerative braking system, which means when brakes are applied, the kinetic energy created from braking is used to recharge the battery. Also, whenever the gasoline engine is running, the battery is being recharged. If necessary, you can bring the 12-volt system battery back to a fully charged state by using a typical automobile battery charger.

Our third question is, “Do hybrid vehicles cost more to maintain?”

The cost to maintain a hybrid is roughly the same or slightly lower than repairing or maintaining a regular vehicle. However, there was a time when technicians thought hybrid vehicles were very “scary” to be around, which caused service costs to be much higher. They thought this because when hybrids were new, technicians who weren’t working for the manufacturer producing them had little to no training about the technology. Now, with more manufacturers producing hybrids, they’re producing more well-trained technicians who follow proper procedures. All of this allows technicians to safely and properly perform routine maintenance and repairs without being afraid of the technology.

Our fourth question is, “I hear about the Toyota Prius all the time, but what other hybrid vehicles are available?”

While the Prius was one of the first hybrids introduced and continues to be on top of the best hybrids lists, other manufacturers have and continue to produce hybrids. There are now over 20 different models. Hyundai has the Ioniq. Kia has the Niro. In addition to the Prius, Toyota has three other models: the Prius Prime, Corolla and Camry. There are also hybrid SUVs available from Mitsubishi, Lexus, BMW, Acura and Volvo.

Our last question is, “Is it worth it to purchase a hybrid vehicle?”

For many people in our area, the answer is, probably not. In most cases, hybrids end up costing you more money than buying a gas-powered car. The purchase price of a hybrid is higher because of the technology used to build the vehicle. Yes, you may receive a tax break when you purchase a hybrid but then you have higher insurance rates because of the cost of the vehicle. There is also a performance issue. Hybrids are usually quite slow and may create dangerous situations, especially during highway driving. They also have diminished fuel efficiency in the cold weather and we all know how cold winters can be in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Deciding to purchase a hybrid vehicle should be done the same way you decide on which gasoline vehicle to buy. You have to research all the pros and cons, not just the amount of money you might be able to save at the pump if you buy a hybrid.

At the end of the day, you have to like what you’re buying and feel safe when you and your golden doodle head out on the open road.

Continuing Education Program Now Enrolling Students in Specialized Soldering Training and Certification Course

Johnson College is offering a 16-hour IPC J-STD-001 Training and Certification Course through its Continuing Education Program. This specialized course introduces the materials, methods, and acceptance criteria for producing high-quality soldered electrical connections. The course will be held on the Johnson College campus during the late afternoons starting Monday, May 17, 2021, through Thursday, May 20, 2021. The total cost of the course is $500 and space is very limited. To learn more or to enroll, visit or contact the Johnson College Continuing Education Department at 570-702-8979 or

This course can be utilized by workers in industries such aerospace, bio-medical, computer technology, and electronics to name a few, who are interested in expanding their careers while helping their companies grow.

The 16-hour course will focus on modules 1 and 2 of the IPC J-STD-001. Module 1 includes General requirements: applicable documents; materials, components, and equipment requirements; general soldering and assembly requirements; cleaning; printed circuit board requirements; coating, encapsulation, and staking; anti-tampering; and rework and repair. In module 2, students will learn how to make wire and terminal connections; demonstrate wire stripping, wire tinning, and gold removal; and assemble turret, bifurcated, pierced, hooked, and hollow cup terminals to the highest performance standards. Upon successful completion, students will receive an IPC Certification in J-STD-001 soldering.

Johnson College and Lackawanna College Sign Articulation Agreement

Recently Lackawanna College and Johnson College signed an articulation agreement that gives Johnson College students the opportunity to transfer credits to Lackawanna College’s Bachelor of Science in Business program.

“Johnson College students already built a strong foundation through their learning experiences and will now be able to easily transfer into Lackawanna College’s Bachelor’s program to complete their degree,” said Dr. Jill A. Murray, Lackawanna College President. “Our business bachelor’s program allows students to stay local and earn their degree in a flexible and challenging program that will prepare them for careers.”

The bachelor’s degree in business at Lackawanna College prepares students for success in the business world with a diverse curriculum and a well-rounded education that produces career-ready graduates. Students can choose a marketing concentration or a lean entrepreneurship concentration to better hone their skills.

“Establishing this articulation agreement with Lackawanna College creates an opportunity for our students to build on the hands-on education they’ve already received and stack their credentials even more with a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “This agreement strengthens the relationship between our two institutions and creates a more experienced workforce in our community.”

More Students Back to Campus for the 2021-2022 Academic Year Starting June 28

Johnson College will welcome more students back to campus for in-person classes and labs for the 2021-22 academic year starting with its summer session on June 28, 2021. Through its enhanced course offerings, the College is committed to delivering its mission of providing students with real-world, hands-on learning in a caring and safe environment.

Students will be able to choose either in-person or virtual classes for their general education and program theory courses, which have only been offered virtually since March 2020. Labs and lab-related coursework will continue to be delivered in-person, on the Johnson College campus, or at one of our industry partner lab locations. CDC guidelines will be adhered to at all locations.

Throughout the 2021-2022 academic year, Johnson College will continue to divide campus by zones to ensure contact tracing. Masks will be provided and social distancing guidelines enforced. The Facilities Department is following all CDC cleaning guidelines for the campus. The student Café will not operate as normal. Students will be allowed to bring their food and use the dining area. Tables and chairs will be set up within social distancing guidelines. “Grab and go” items will be available to students as well. Congregating and events will be limited. Housing will not be available for the foreseeable future. Students who need housing should contact the Office of Student Engagement for other options.

This plan is subject to change pending guidelines set forth by local, state, and national government officials and appropriate health agencies.

“As we move forward from this past academic year, the Johnson College community is thrilled to be able to welcome our students, some for the first time, back on campus, with even more flexible options for their education,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College.

Free College Readiness for STEM Occupations Program Available to Lackawanna County Teenagers from Low-Income Households

Johnson College is offering a free eight-week College Readiness for STEM Occupations program for teenagers ages 14 to 18 years old, from low-income families, who live in Lackawanna County. The program starts Wednesday, April 21, 2021, and continues every Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for eight-weeks. The program includes dinner for students and transportation between Scranton High School and the Johnson College campus if needed. For eligibility requirements and to register, contact Dr. Kellyn Williams, Johnson College’s Chief Academic Officer at or 570-702-8940. This program is supported by a grant from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The College Readiness for STEM Occupations program includes presentations and hands-on discovery activities designed to increase awareness of career opportunities in the STEM workforce and to improve college-readiness skills. Participants are evaluated throughout the program based on attendance and discussion. The program will:

  • Increase awareness of STEM-related occupations.
  • Increase awareness of two-year options for post-secondary education.
  • Designed for all students, not just those who will pursue post-secondary education or careers in STEM or STEM-related fields.
  • Develop skills necessary for success in college and career.
  • Increase student potential for academic and personal success through knowledge of campus resources.

Students who complete the program with at least 80% attendance will receive college credit (a $550 value). To qualify for the college credit, students will be required to sign-in at each session to verify attendance.

Candy Frye to Deliver Johnson College’s 2021 Commencement Address

Johnson College has selected Candy Frye, Director of New Business Development at A. Pickett Construction, Inc. and Johnson College graduate, to give their 2021 commencement address to graduates on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at dusk, at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Scranton.

As the Director of New Business Development at A. Pickett Construction, Inc., Frye is instrumental in driving new business.  She nurtures relationships with existing commercial and facilities-related clients.  She identifies new opportunities through the development of strategic relationships with potential clients of various sectors.  Before this role, Frye was the Dispatch Manager of Pickett Facilities Maintenance, a subsidiary of A. Pickett Construction, Inc.  Her background has been diverse, though always trade-related.

Mrs. Frye currently serves on the Johnson College Board of Directors, is the current chair for the NEPA Associated Builders and Contractors Association, and is an active member of multiple chambers of commerce.  She also serves on the Domestic Violence Service Center Board of Directors as well as multiple associated related committees.

During her time as a student at Johnson College, she earned an Associate in Specialized Technology degree in both Building Construction Technology in 1993 and Architectural Drafting and Design in 1994. She was nominated and served as Student Government President as well as received the Non-Traditional Student of the Year award.

She resides in Harding with her husband Jay, daughter Jordan, and great-nephew, Noah.

Johnson College Receives $490,381 Grant from the USDA for Rural Distance Learning Program

Johnson College has been awarded a $490,381 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the agency’s Telemedicine and Distance Learning Program. This grant will support the College’s goal to implement a distance learning program improving access to higher education opportunities for rural areas in Wayne, Pike, and Susquehanna counties.

The project will link Johnson College with four rural high schools: Forest City Regional High School, Honesdale High School, Wallenpaupack Area High School, and Western Wayne High School.  As well as three libraries: Lakewood Library, Newfoundland Library, and Pleasant Mount Library by high-tech telecommunications equipment.

Both high school and adult students will have interactive, two-way access to Johnson College faculty and will participate in remote education, discussions, testing, and skill demonstrations. Laboratories and classrooms at Johnson College will be similarly equipped to enable maximum interaction between faculty and students. In addition, the three rural libraries will be equipped with laptops to give community residents access to career exploration services and information about courses at Johnson College. Students participating in the distance learning program will be able to work towards completing any one of the 15 academic programs Johnson College offers.

The project will create a direct route to career technology education (CTE), a college degree, and ultimately a fulfilling career with family-sustaining wages for students in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania. For many families, this will be the first generation empowered to attend college and removes several barriers like transportation to make college possible. We will focus on a distance learning platform using the latest in two-way interactive telecommunications technology to create an environment that is as close to the Johnson College onsite classroom and laboratory experience as possible while being delivered in the high school community.

The rural nature of the region presents several barriers to students and community residents in accessing higher education. The high schools collaborating on this project are between 21 and 31 miles from Johnson College. Because of family responsibilities, cultural norms, or factors related to working while enrolled in school, many students stay close to home for college. When there are no institutions of higher education close by, transportation and distance become barriers to upward mobility, fulfilling careers, and financially rewarding positions. This program can change that through distance learning and telecommunications. This strategy has several benefits for the individual student, the community, the industry partners needing more workers, and the state/regional/local economic development efforts.

This project also benefits Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education which is integral to the College’s curriculum for all students attending Johnson College, whether through distance learning, online learning, or on-campus learning. The specialized STEM training made possible by this grant funding will give students the opportunity to start their college degree while still in high school and complete earlier for in-demand positions throughout the region, as well as provide an opportunity to train non-high school students for new careers due to job loss or the desire for positions with higher family-sustaining wages.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with these schools and libraries to bring the Johnson College experience to those who otherwise might not be able to take advantage of it,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “Everyone should have the opportunity to learn skills that can lead to family-sustaining wages for in-demand careers.”

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) congratulated Johnson College and applauded the project. “As the internet fuels more innovative higher learning options, we need to invest to make sure they are accessible,” said Cartwright. “Projects like this open the door to exciting educational opportunities that give more students a shot at a fulfilling career, regardless of their zip code. I want to congratulate Johnson College on this well-deserved federal award.”

In addition to the distance learning opportunity this funding provides, students will also have access to Johnson College’s full array of on-campus support services including tutoring, counseling, career advisement, financial aid, internship opportunities, and exposure to industry from day one. Distance learning will help high school and adult students reach their full potential, and connect with the region’s essential careers already in demand.