RISE: Readiness In Skilled Employment, a new unique workforce development program

In an effort to help remove socio-economic barriers for some individuals looking to enter the workforce and earn a life-sustaining wage, Johnson College, United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund have formed a unique partnership to address this critical need and solve the skills gap in NEPA.

RISE: Readiness In Skilled Employment (https://risenepa.org/) is a workforce development program to serve residents of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties with the opportunity to obtain technical training while accessing additional supports to remove any barriers that stand in their way of starting a new career. Funded by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, the support and services offered will provide enrolled participants the pathway necessary to earn a family-sustaining wage. RISE paves the way for individuals and their future generations to succeed.

“There are over 7,000 jobs currently posted available in NEPA even with a declining unemployment rate and increased labor force participation,” commented Teri Ooms, Executive Director at The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development. “These jobs require all different levels of education, training, and skills. There is opportunity! RISE addresses both the education and training to secure those jobs, while helping individuals with all the other challenges that affect their ability to learn and be gainfully employed.” Participants will achieve the hands-on education through Johnson College to secure an in-demand job in NEPA.

“For over 100 years, Johnson College has worked to produce skilled technicians needed for the workforce, and now the need is greater than ever,” said Dr Katie Leonard, Johnson College CEO & President. “By our organizations working together, more people from our community will have an opportunity to lessen the job market’s skills gap by becoming well-trained technicians without having to overcome certain barriers. Plus, they will enter the workforce with the knowledge and training to be able to earn family-sustaining wages. RISE will change lives.”

“United Neighborhood Centers is thrilled to be working with Johnson College, The Institute, and the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund on this new initiative,” noted Lisa Durkin, President & CEO of United Neighborhood Centers. “Never before has the need for a strong skilled workforce been more evident. Many industries and professions are looking to fill key positions right now. It is our goal that we meet the demand of area employers and prepare the families and individuals we work with for these rewarding opportunities.”

Johnson College Receives $250,000 from the City of Scranton

Recently Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, Mayor of the City of Scranton, joined Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, to announce that the City of Scranton’s Office of Economic and Community Development awarded Johnson College a $250,000 grant to improve Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance across the College campus. 

Improving Johnson College’s ADA compliance will increase accessibility for faculty, staff, visitors, and, most of all, students, as the College strives to be inclusive to all. The funds will be used to install automatic door openers, access ramps, and ADA-compliant restroom improvements to President’s Hall and the Lemon Street Continuing Education Lab.

This grant was made possible through the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program and the Housing and Urban Development Administration.

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public accommodations to provide goods and services to people with disabilities on an equal basis with the rest of the general public. The goal is to afford every individual the opportunity to benefit from Johnson College and to afford Johnson College the opportunity to benefit from all students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus. Last year, 12.5% of students attending Johnson College registered disabilities with the College. The campus use is increasing with space being used for community events, continuing education activities, community sporting events, and scouting. It is our desire to increase community use of the Johnson College campus and make our facilities accessible to all who visit.

All new college buildings have been designed and constructed to be ADA compliant. Some of the initial retrofitting work to existing campus structures has already been accomplished through a City of Scranton Community Development Block Grant several years ago. As guidelines and campus use have evolved, it is prudent to engage a firm experienced in ADA compliance audits to perform a system-wide survey of the Johnson College campus/facilities and make recommendations for improvements to bring us into full ADA compliance.

Johnson College Diversity & Inclusion Committee Donates to NEPA Youth Shelter

The Johnson College Diversity & Inclusion Committee sponsored a food and supply drive for the NEPA Youth Shelter in honor of National Coming Out Day. A local organization that provides emergency shelter and related services to unaccompanied youth, the NEPA Youth Shelter is especially affirming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youth, as this population constitutes a high percentage of unhoused youth in our area. Food, drinks, and cleaning supplies were collected on the Johnson College campus from September 27 to October 8. Many thanks to those faculty, staff, and students who donated!

Photo Caption: The Johnson College Diversity & Inclusion Committee members present NEPA Youth Shelter Executive Director Maureen Maher-Gray with the collected food and supplies. Left to Right: Ashley Cease Hassenbein, Academic Resource Officer, Johnson College, Luke Boniello, Academic Advisor, Johnson College, Melissa Saxon-Price, Counselor/Manager of Disability Services, Johnson College, and Maureen Maher-Gray, Executive Director, NEPA Youth Shelter.

Johnson College Announces New Two-Year Associates Degree Program in Welding Fabrication Manufacturing Technology

– Students can now enroll in Johnson College’s new two-year associate degree Welding Fabrication Manufacturing Technology program. The program will start during the fall 2022 semester.

The two-year program prepares students for entry-level work in the welding industry. Students learn industry methods such as plasma arc, shielded metal arc, and gas metal arc welding, as well as techniques and critical skills for today’s welding workforce, including safety, print reading, and weld symbols. Program graduates are prepared to sit for various American Welding Society certifications and can work as welders, fabricators, fitters, ornamental metal sculptors, welder helpers, or in similar roles within the welding field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Welding Technology field has a 3% growth potential through 2029. Graduates entering this field have the opportunity to make a medium annual income of up to $44,190. Typical welding industry employers include structural steel fabricators, custom metal shops, industrial contractors, shipyards, pipe and pressure vessel fabricators, and retail welding sales.

“Johnson College is adding this two-year associate degree Welding Fabrication Manufacturing Technology program because of the increasing demand from industry for highly skilled welders in today’s workforce,” said Dr. Kellyn Williams, Johnson College’s Chief Academic Officer. “This program, along with our one-year welding certificate program, creates options for potential students interested in entering the highly in-demand welding industry.”

To learn more about Johnson College’s new Welding Fabrication Manufacturing Technology Program visit https://johnson.edu/weldingfabrication

Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club Awards $1,000 Scholarship to Johnson College

The Villa Capri Cruisers Car Club, Inc. awarded a $1,000 scholarship to be given to a Johnson College Automotive Technology student. This year marks the 11th year for the scholarship by the club, which raises funds through donations, volunteer work, sponsorships, and annual calendar sales.

Johnson College’s two-year Automotive Technology associates degree program prepares students as entry-level technicians in the automobile and diesel industries. Graduates can work for employers in the automotive career fields of automotive, truck, farm, and earthmoving equipment dealerships; truck, power generation, and construction companies; automotive service centers; engine repair/machine shops; automotive equipment distributors; independent service garages; automotive parts manufacturers; sales representation; and auto insurance companies.

Pictured, front row, left to right: Karen Baker, Senior Director of College Advancement; Villa Capri President Joe Carra; Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College President & CEO; Mike Macedonia. Back row, left to right: Dave Thomas, Patty Valvano, Frank Valvano, Nick Tielli, Mike Greenstein, and Charlie Leavesley.

Johnson College to Host an Open House on November 6, 2021

Johnson College will hold an in-person Open House on its campus in Scranton on Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register for the Open House, visit Johnson.edu/openhouse or contact Johnson College’s Enrollment Department at 570-702-8856 or enroll@johnson.edu.

Open House will include discussions about the admissions process, information about financial aid for those who qualify, and student services such as student life, student support, and career services. Plus, same-day acceptance will be available for many programs if students bring their high school or college transcripts. Tours of each technical area will be conducted and department chairs will be available to review the specifics of their programs. Social distancing guidelines will be followed. Face coverings are required inside all campus buildings regardless of vaccinated status.

From Headlights to Taillights: Vehicle Maintenance – Recommended or Required?

By Mark Kozemko, Johnson College’s Automotive Technology Program Director. Originally published in the September 24, 2021 edition of the Valley Advantage.

https://www.thevalleyadvantage.com/community-columns/from-headlights-to-taillights-vehicle-maintenance-recommended-or-required/article_4e0ed64d-ba35-5431-93f8-0808466020ca.html

As another summer goes in the record books and everyone starts to plan their winter travels, questions about vehicle maintenance continue to be on everyone’s minds. This month, we’re fielding questions from concerned vehicle owners about the infamous maintenance schedule they find in their owner’s manuals.

Our first question is, “I often wonder, do I really have to do the maintenance at every single interval on the schedule?”

If you’re scratching your head about the question, let me explain it. A typical maintenance schedule found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual will be in table form, listing mileage intervals across the top and maintenance items down the left side. The manufacturer determines the mileage intervals.

For instance, my 2017 Ram 1500 pickup mileage intervals are every 10,000 miles beginning at 20,000 miles. There is also a row with years that appears under the mileage. Some of us don’t drive as much, so maintenance is completed yearly instead of according to miles traveled.

Maintenance items that need attention range from a simple inspection of that item to total replacement. Many things don’t need to be replaced for 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Items that require regular replacing include the engine oil and filter, fuel and air filters.

Okay, now to answer the question asked: Yes, you really have to do the maintenance listed at every mileage interval. Why? Well, replacement or inspections are done at specific intervals to prevent significant repairs in the future, thus, the term, “preventative maintenance.” When preventative maintenance is performed correctly, the owner will get as much out of their vehicle as they possibly can.

If you’ve been following this column every month, you may remember me stating that engine oil changes are the cheapest maintenance you can do to prolong the life of your engine. A clean engine is a happy engine and will perform flawlessly for quite a long time. That’s just one example of preventative maintenance.

“Are all the services the same at each interval?” is our second question.

There may be certain things, such as changing the engine oil and filter that you will have to do at each interval. Other things, not so much. For example, the spark plugs in my 5.7-liter Hemi engine require replacement at 100,000 miles, so if you remember from above, the service intervals on my vehicle are every 10,000 miles. My truck will have already received somewhere around 10 maintenance services by the time I replace my spark plugs.

I want to add that this spark plug replacement requirement is different from a few decades ago, when replacements were required every year. Back then, this was called a tune-up.

Some items are inspected at each interval but do not need to be replaced until they reach the end of their useful life. For instance, an air filter may last through four service intervals if the vehicle is only driven in a clean, dust-free environment. If you drive your car or truck in very dirty or dusty situations, the filter will have to be replaced every interval due to severe usage.

Our third question is, “Can I get away with skipping any of the services?”

I guess you can, but you may hear someone tell you, “I told you so,” because something simple that needed attention at the service interval you skipped turned into a high-dollar repair later on down the road.

“Is there a more cost-effective way to maintain my vehicle so I don’t have to incur the cost of the maintenance packages?” is our fourth and final question this month.

The bottom line is that the most cost-effective way to maintain your vehicle is to follow the maintenance schedule to the letter. In the long run, the money you spend on the maintenance packages per the schedule will be significantly less than the expensive repairs that will come because you skipped one or more of your scheduled maintenances.

Keep in mind that a vehicle under warranty will always require you to follow the maintenance schedule. If a catastrophic failure should happen to your car or truck, the first thing the manufacturer will ask for is maintenance records. If maintenance hasn’t been completed per their recommended schedule, your repair will most likely come out of your pocket. Those costs can add up very quickly.

As you think about preparing your vehicle for your winter travels, make sure you know what is really recommended and required on your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. It could mean saving money and, more importantly, getting you safely to your winter destination.

Johnson College Announces Record-Setting Enrollment for Third Consecutive Year

Johnson College has announced a record-setting enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year. The College outpaced its enrollment for 2020-2021 by 8%.

With a record number of students enrolled for the third year in a row, Johnson College works hard to fill the skills gap in today’s job marketplace – making the College’s recruitment and programmatic focus more about workforce development.

In addition to a record number of incoming first-year students, Johnson College also welcomed its largest Dual Enrollment-Industry Fast Track class to date. More than 40 students from around the area have enrolled either part-time or full-time with Johnson College for college credits while also earning their high school diplomas.

“The increase in enrollment in these areas demonstrates that our programs, and the careers they lead to, are more in demand than ever,” said Bill Burke, M.S., Johnson College’s Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs. “Our students get the opportunity to work in industry from day one, which gives them the leading edge when they are ready to seek in-field employment  upon graduation.”

Several recent Johnson College graduates have found employment at Automated Lifestyles LLC in Moscow, PA, which installs audio, visual, and other electronic equipment for security, home automation, and other home and commercial media needs. “Finding technicians for such a specialized industry can be a challenge,” Larry Supon, Owner and President of Automated Lifestyles, said. “The partnership (with Johnson College) works because students come to us prepared with  the skills for the job, and also the ability to think outside the box.”

Partnerships with established industries throughout the region remain a key component of what sets Johnson College apart. “Johnson College helps provide a fundamental training that allows their students to enter the workforce, as well as positioning them to enter more specialized training provided at the employer level,” said Tom Spall, owner, and president of T.E. Spall & Son, a College industry partner based in Carbondale that provides plumbing, heating, and air conditioning services. “This helps position the students with the necessary tools for their individual success.”

Marcelo Desousa, regional operations manager at Fastenal in Jessup, PA, said that the ongoing and reciprocal relationship between Johnson College and Fastenal has helped the company build its employee base. “We have students come for part-time work or for internships, and we are able to seamlessly bring them on board once they finish their degree program,” Desousa said. “The College understands where the workforce is going, and we know that the students who come to us have the type of training we need.”

Johnson College Receives $7,500 Grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation

Johnson College has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. This grant will support the College’s Animal Care Clinic and pet owners in our community.  

Johnson College will purchase medical equipment that will help enhance the safety and comfort of patients receiving surgical care. The grant will give Johnson College Veterinary Nursing Program students valuable clinical experience preparing them to enter into the workforce or advance their careers.  

As many people struggle to feed their families every week, family pets, while loved dearly, are not always updated on vaccines and spay/neuter procedures until finances are available. This grant will help these families take proper care of and responsibility for their pets by providing up to 20 reduced-cost spay/neuter surgeries for qualifying low-income families. The grant will also provide low-cost rabies vaccines.

Johnson College’s Veterinary Nursing Program prepares students to join an animal care team as entry-level technicians. Their tasks can include collecting samples, performing lab tests, taking radiographs, preparing the surgical suite, assisting in surgery, monitoring anesthesia, and providing general nursing care to patients. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits the program. Students become Certified Veterinary Technicians upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam.  

“Through this grant, we are excited to give low-income pet-owning families peace of mind that their pet is cared for without incurring financial hardships,” said Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College. “Equipment purchased will help our Veterinary Nursing Program students with the hands-on training they need to pass their national exams and enter the workforce.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Johnson College has been awarded a $7,500 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, managed by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. This grant will support the College’s Animal Care Clinic and pet owners in our community. Pictured left to right: Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College, Karen Baker, Sr. Director of College Advancement, Johnson College, Cathy Fitzpatrick, Grants and Scholarships Manager, The Scranton Area Community Foundation, and Jack Nogi, Trustee, Robert H. Spitz Foundation.