Johnson College Receives $1,000,000 Gift from Jessup Native and College Alum, Ideal T. Saldi and his wife, Frances P. Saldi

On Wednesday, April 20, 2022, during an on-campus event to celebrate Ideal T. and Frances P. Saldi Day at the College, Johnson College’s President & CEO, Dr. Katie Leonard, announced a $1,000,000 gift from Johnson College graduate Ideal T. Saldi and his wife Frances P. Saldi (formally Frances Prutisto).

The Saldi’s gift is a milestone for the College, as it’s the largest gift from an alum and one of the most significant gifts in Johnson College’s history.

“Johnson College kept me out of the coal mines and provided me the skills that allowed me to earn money to pay for college,” said Mr. Saldi. “Whatever success I have enjoyed, I owe to Johnson College.”

“Ideal and Frances’ gift will have a direct and lasting impact on our students and the College,” Dr. Leonard added. “It inspires us to deliver the best real-world, hands-on, industry-driven education that our students, industry partners, and community expect from Johnson College.”

Mr. Saldi is a graduate of Johnson College, class of 1949, Jessup High School, The Pennsylvania State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mrs. Saldi is a graduate of Archbald High and earned a Liberal Arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Mr. Saldi started his professional career at the General Electric Company and was employed there for 18 years, rising through the ranks to become General Manager of one of their businesses. He left General Electric to start several companies beginning with Integrated Display Systems, which he later sold to Refac Electronics in New York City and became president of the combined companies. He later became president of C-Cor Electronics in State College, Pennsylvania, and AM Communications.

In all, he started a total of 18 companies during his professional career and continues to run two he started in 1981. Mr. Saldi has served on several Board of Directors and has been awarded 18 patents during his professional career.

After raising four children, Mrs. Saldi began her career as a real estate agent – first with a retirement community, then moving on to private residential sales.

The Saldi’s have three surviving children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a supportive environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s only technical college, offering 17 associate degree and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-instructor ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on learning. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Photo Caption: Left to Right – Ideal T. Saldi, Johnson College Alum, class of 1949 and Dr. Katie Leonard, Johnson College’s President & CEO

Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County Students Receive Forklift Operator Certifications from Johnson College

On Sunday, April 10, 2022, Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, congratulated students from The Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County for receiving certification for completing Johnson College Continuing Education’s Forklift Operator Training Course. 

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 operators of forklifts through theory and tactile testing. Instructional topics include pre-operational inspection, picking up, traveling, placing loads, parking procedures, and practical operation.

Pictured left to right: Matthew Tucker, Dylan McGoff, Anthony Marconi, Serenity Fuller, Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, Nicholas Lathrop, Joshua Aguero, Jordan Campbell, and Luciano Dinguis.

Now Enrolling Students in CNC Machining Training in Luzerne County

Johnson College in conjunction with Don’s Machine Shop in West Pittston continues to bring CNC Machining training to Luzerne County. Starting June 20, 2022 students will train to utilize, maintain and program Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines inside Don’s Machine Shop’s classroom and lab at 100 Elm Street, West Pittston. Open enrollment for this 510-Hour CNC class is going on now. Space is limited. To learn more or to enroll, contact the Johnson College Continuing Education Department at 570-702-8979 or

CNC machinists manufacture precision products and components used in a variety of applications such as automotive, medical, electronics, aerospace, transportation, military, and more. Industries throughout northeastern Pennsylvania are currently in need of well-trained CNC machinist.

This 510-hour class for beginner-level students includes theory and hands-on learning experiences. The hands-on training, delivered at Don’s Machine Shop, is on some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in the region. This unique, one-of-a-kind training will help open new career opportunities right away. This relationship truly demonstrates how industry is a Johnson College student’s campus. The cost of the class is $7,500. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify.

Since starting over 30 years ago Don’s Machine Shop, Inc. has grown to be one of the largest machine shops in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley. Their 77,000 square foot climate-controlled facility contains millions of dollars’ worth of modern equipment that are continually upgraded. Don’s Machine Shop, Inc. employs 30 people and makes machine parts for companies around the globe. Many things have changed since this business started over 30 years ago, but their commitment to providing quality parts and service will never change. For more information visit

Nose to tail: Lifestyles of the common cat

By: Amanda Melnyk, AS, CVT, ’09 

Originally published in the March 25, 2022, edition of the Valley Advantage.

This month’s column is all about the different types and lifestyles of Felis catus: our friend, the domestic cat. So, let’s jump right in.

An indoor pet cat, let’s call her Maddie, watches the outside world through her favorite window. Not only does she watch neighbors, birds, and chipmunks go about their day, but other domestic cats as well!

These unowned outdoor cats are also known as “community cats,” and this term refers to any member of the Felis catus species that roam freely throughout the community, with or without human interaction/socialization. One of these community felines, a friendly intact male stray named Viktor, will soon make his way into a permanent indoor home. The other cat commonly seen coming and going (mostly at night) is called Freddy but is not interested in any human interaction, period.

Our first question is, “What terms can we use to describe the different lifestyles of Maddie, Viktor and Feral Freddy, who are all considered domestic cats?”

• Pet: Can be strictly indoor, outdoor or both. They, like Maddie, are well socialized and familiar with people.

• Stray: Abandoned outdoor cat, like Viktor, who has had human interaction/socialization at some point in their life or are young enough to be socialized and introduced into a household.

• Feral: Wild cats, like our friend Freddy, are part of the environment. They are not socialized with humans and are not interested in living in a household among humans.

“How can we tell the difference between these cats?” is our second question.

Focusing on stray (Viktor) vs. feral (Freddy), the following tips will help differentiate between the two. Please keep in mind, all cats are individual and may not follow our human criteria!

Appearance: As a stray, Viktor’s appearance is dirty and messy. They’re not accustomed to living outside. A feral cat, like Freddy, has a clean, well-kept hair coat because they adapted to living outside.

Schedule: You may see strays in your neighborhoods during the daytime, nighttime, or all hours. A feral cat will mostly make their rounds at night, including dawn and dusk.

Sociability with humans, including responsiveness and cage behavior: A stray may approach people or living areas (porches/cars), tolerate being touched with time, respond to household sounds such as opening a food can or treat bag, and eat with humans near. These cats may have a collar and are vocal when responding to human interaction. They may hiss or growl to show anxiety, and when put into a cage/confinement. They also may come to the front of the cage, rub on it, act friendly and relax over time.

A feral cat cannot be approached or touched and will hide. These cats also will not show any familiarity with or will ignore, household sounds. They are silent around humans and will only eat once humans are gone if food is available. If put into a cage or confinement, they will get as far back as possible and may lash out with aggression. They may also climb and bang around if startled, threatened or cornered. These cats will remain tense and unsocial.

When in a stressful situation, a stray like Viktor MAY act like a feral cat, so please keep a safe distance when interacting with any community cat!

Sociability with other cats: Strays are most likely to live alone and be seen independently, while feral cats may be accustomed to living in a feral cat colony.

Lastly, here is some information to help you help our domestic cat friends who are strays or feral like Viktor or Freddy.

If you’re thinking about helping to spay/neuter strays or feral cats, a TNR (trap, neuter, and release) program may be available through local public (mobile) spay/neuter clinics.

When you see feral cats in your neighborhoods, leave them be. They are wild and have adapted to the environment. If you run across a friendly stray who was introduced to humans before becoming feral, there may be a chance for adoption.

Please consult with your local community office about “community cats” to receive specific information and ordinances.

Education is the best tool for helping all cats included in the domestic cat species! Additional resources and information are available through:

Amanda Melnyk, AS, CVT, ’09 JC Alumni, is a full-time CVT Instructor at Johnson College’s veterinary nursing program as well as a clinical rotation instructor at the Animal Care Center on campus. She has been a part of the veterinary field for 14 years.

College to Host 5th Annual Auction for Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA

Johnson College’s Carpentry & Cabinetmaking Technology program will host an auction to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, on the Johnson College campus. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., and the auction starts at 6:00 p.m.

More than 60 items will be available to bid on, including cutting boards, tables, cabinets, a bookcase, and more. All items were created by students in the Carpentry & Cabinetmaking Technology program. Most of the items were made from re-purposed wood. To register to attend, please visit

To learn more about the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, visit

College is holding a Diving Into The STEM Degrees Event

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, Johnson College is holding a Diving Into The STEM Degrees event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Moffat Student Center on its campus in Scranton. Prospective students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators from local high schools interested in learning more about the College’s STEM-focused 2-year academic degree programs are encouraged to attend. 

Program Directors and instructors from the College’s Biomedical Equipment Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and Mechatronics Technology programs will discuss each program’s hands-on curriculum, overall learning goals, and career opportunities. Attendees will also receive tours of each program’s labs.

To attend the Diving Into The STEM Degrees event, please register at or contact the College’s enrollment team at or (570) 702-8856.

Nicholas J. Scarnato to Deliver Johnson College’s 2022 Commencement Address

Johnson College has selected Nicholas J. Scarnato, CCO at Producto, graduate of Johnson College, class of 1980, and Old Forge, PA native, to give their 2022 commencement address to graduates on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10 a.m., at the Circle Drive-In Theatre in Scranton.

As the CCO at Producto, Scarnato is currently instrumental in driving the commercial strategy and development of three (3) platform entities: New Vision Industries, located in Endicott, NY, Ring Precision Components, located in Jamestown, NY, and Dieco, located in Solon, Ohio.

After graduating from Johnson College, Mr. Scarnato’s career started with Singer, Link Flight Simulation Division, as a test engineer. He supported the development, testing, project management, and capture management of multiple U.S. and International Military Simulators. He continued his career with Link, performing as a Customer Liaison to European NATO Forces in Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Liaison to United States Air Forces, located in Germany and Spain. At Link, Mr. Scarnato became a Capture Team Leader for multiple U.S. Airforce and U.S. Army platform simulators.

After 20 years with Link, Mr. Scarnato joined Collins Aerospace, where he continued to support Military Simulation in multiple capacities for Major Defense platforms. As Strategic Development Director, he supported the acquisition of various companies to meet corporate strategic growth initiatives. He supported a team researching Training Effectiveness, Cognitive Saturation, and Adaptive Learning partnering with small businesses and universities. As the Strategic Development Director, he and his team supported five prominent business leaders in developing their business growth initiatives within a diverse set of Markets: Integrated Simulation and Training, including Live Virtual Constructive Interoperability; Multi-Domain Battlespace; Precision Manufacturing; Nuclear Command & Control, and Autonomous Systems. After Collins Aerospace Mr. Scarnato joined New Vision Industries, where he led a talented team toward the strategic change and growth of the business.

Mr. Scarnato holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics and Fluidics from Johnson College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Binghamton University. Currently, Mr. Scarnato is a proud member of the Board of Directors at Johnson College. He and his wife reside in the Southern Tier of New York.

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a supportive environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s only technical college, offering 17 associate degree and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-instructor ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on learning. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Johnson College Earns 2022-2023 Military Friendly ® School Designation

Johnson College announced today that it has earned the 2022-2023 Military Friendly ® School designation.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly ® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-2023 survey with 665 earning special awards for going above the standard.

The 2022-2023 Military Friendly® Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly ® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Johnson College remains committed to helping our servicemen and women and their families further their education,” said Bill Burke, Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs at Johnson College. “The College’s dedicated staff assists with needs specific to military students. We provide dedicated space as well as priority scheduling and registration for our service members and veterans.”

“Military Friendly® is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process. Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the Military Community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.” – Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly®.

For more information about Johnson College’s Veteran Student Services, visit

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About Military Friendly ® Schools:

The Military Friendly ® Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources from more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly® Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all postsecondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at

About John College:

Johnson College provides real-world, hands-on learning in a supportive environment and prepares graduates to enter into or advance their careers. Johnson College degrees become essential careers. Johnson College was founded in 1912 and is the region’s only technical college, offering 17 associate degree and 4 academic certificate programs. A low student-to-instructor ratio supports an emphasis on hands-on learning. Located in Scranton on a 44-acre campus, the College is an accredited, private, non-profit, co-educational institution with a strong tradition of working with regional businesses and industries to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce. For additional information on Johnson College, please call 1-800-2-WE-WORK, email, or visit

Nose to Tail: Clean Teeth, Healthy Pets

By Kimberly Konopka, BS, AS, CVT, ESMT, Program Director of the Veterinary Nursing Program at Johnson College

Originally published in the February 25, 2022 edition of the Valley Advantage.

We brush our teeth, floss, and gargle mouthwash every day to keep our teeth and mouth healthy. What about your pets’ dental care? Is it as essential to their overall health as it is ours? Those are the types of questions we recently received and will try to answer.

“My veterinarian said that my pet needs a dental exam. Is this true?”

The simple answer is YES! Our pets’ mouths are very similar to our own and need attention as well. Food particles and bacteria cause a film to form known as plaque, which then hardens to form tartar.

This is that hard yellow- to brown-colored build-up you may notice on teeth, especially the back molars. Not only is it unsightly, but without proper attention, it may lead to other health concerns.

The bacteria can also invade the gums, causing pain and inflammation known as gingivitis, leading to periodontal disease and tooth loss. There is evidence that dental disease is associated with cardiopulmonary diseases such as endocarditis, inflammation of the liver and kidney disease. This stems from the bacteria entering the bloodstream and traveling to these vital organs. A procedure called dental prophylaxis,

done by a veterinary professional, assists in helping to keep all these issues at bay.

“My pet is only 5 years old. Can I wait until he/she is older to talk to my Vet about dental health?”

Don’t wait! Issues can start in a very young pet, and it’s not uncommon for them to arise at the age of 4-5 years. How do you know if your pet needs a dental exam? During their annual wellness exam, the veterinarian may notice an issue on the visual exam and recommend scheduling the procedure.

There are also signs that your pet may show before the vet visit, which may include:

Pain: Gingivitis and dental disease cause inflammation which is painful. Unfortunately, your pets cannot verbally express that they’re in pain, and often low levels of pain go unnoticed, or your pet becomes accustomed to it over time. If the pain becomes significant enough, your pet may stop eating. You may also notice a difference or reduction in your pet’s level of play or interaction. If the mouth hurts, it makes sense that they may not want to play fetch or tug.

Halitosis, or bad breath: As dental disease progresses, you may notice halitosis. It may become so overpowering that it can be detected from several feet away!

Loss of teeth: When the bacteria invade below the gum line, it can eat away at the support structure of the tooth. This abscess may form along the root of the tooth as well. When the support structures become weak enough, the tooth will become loose and potentially fall out.

“What should I expect to occur for a dental prophylactic procedure?”

It’s far more detailed than one may think. Unfortunately, your pet is unlike a human in this respect and not willing to sit back and open wide. There are several steps involved in the process.

Pre-anesthetic blood work: Your pet will need to go under general anesthesia to have a proper dental cleaning and evaluation of the oral cavity.

Pre-dental radiographs: Like their human counterpart, your pet will have dental radiographs to fully evaluate above and below the gum line giving the veterinarian a better image of the teeth, support structures and overall health of the mouth.

Ultrasonic scaling: This is performed utilizing the same equipment your dentist uses and helps remove the plaque and tartar on the tooth surface above the gum line.

Subgingival hand scaling: Plaque and tarter that lies below the gum line is removed utilizing special hand scaling instruments, the same procedure as you would receive at the dentist.

Extractions, if necessary: This procedure can be as simple as touching a loose tooth, so it pops out, or advanced enough that it requires drills, cutting wheels, flaps and sutures. Some of those teeth have three roots.

Polishing: Veterinary polishing paste is bubblegum flavored, too. A sleeping pet doesn’t care if it’s not beef-flavored. This step serves a purpose other than making the teeth look good. The polish is slightly abrasive, making the tooth have a very smooth surface removing microscopic divots where the bacteria can cling onto, which starts the entire process over again.

Recovery: Once complete, your pet will be moved to a recovery location and closely monitored until discharge. Your veterinary staff will inform you of post-anesthesia/post dental care.

At-home dental care is easy to do and doesn’t require much time or many products. All you need to get started are pet toothpaste, which is necessary because human toothpaste is toxic to pets, and a pet toothbrush. You’re ready to go!