Johnson College Announces $5 Million Comprehensive Capital Campaign for Campus Enhancements

Johnson College publicly launched its new, $5 million comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, “Innovation at Work,” during a community kickoff event on Wednesday, June 8, where it revealed plans for major campus-wide projects.

The “Innovation at Work” campaign consists of four components that will create an environment for growth and success: the construction of a new gateway building, which will become the official entrance to the campus and include new lab and classroom space; the expansion of Woolworth Hall which houses on-campus lab space for programs including Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and Electrical Construction Technology; the creation of a Transportation Education Center; and support of the College’s Annual Fund and student scholarships.

A crucial catalyst for the “Innovation at Work” campaign is a $1 million contribution from Ideal T. Saldi, a Johnson College alum from the class of 1949, and his wife, Frances Saldi, alongside other funders who have invested in the College. The Saldis’ gift, announced in April before the college community, is the largest gift from a Johnson College alum to date and will have a lasting impact on the school, and its students. To honor this gift, the new, state-of-the-art gateway building will be named Ideal Saldi Hall.

“At the heart of this campaign is our students. It is focused on helping them be successful,” President and CEO, Dr. Katie Leonard said. “We strive to carry forward Orlando S. Johnson’s vision of providing a trade school to the region where young men and women can learn useful trades that will enable them to make an honorable living and become contributing members of society.”

As the world of technology continues to change rapidly, Johnson College must change with it. The College’s facilities must remain in sync with industry as new technologies, emerging fields of study, and more sophisticated equipment modernize how the world does business. 

Dave Boniello, president of Simplex Homes, Johnson College Alum from the class of 1984, former Johnson College Chair of the Board of Directors, and chair of the “Innovation at Work” Capital Campaign, announced that during the campaign’s silent phase, the College has already raised 75% of its $5 million-dollar goal thanks to loyal and generous donors from the community. After noting his personal pledge to support the campaign, Boniello asked the Johnson College community to join him in participating in the school’s most comprehensive capital campaign thus far.

“If you have an opportunity to support Johnson College and its students, through the “Innovation at Work” campaign, your gift will have a tremendous and lasting impact on our students, employers, and the region. Together, We Work!” said Boniello.  

For more information about Johnson College’s comprehensive, 5-year capital campaign, “Innovation at Work,” visit

Photo Caption: Johnson College publicly launched its new, $5 million comprehensive, five-year capital campaign, “Innovation at Work,” during a community kickoff event on Wednesday, June 8, revealing plans for major campus-wide projects. One of the four projects announced is the construction of Ideal Saldi Hall. Dr. Katie Leonard, President & CEO of Johnson College, and Mr. Dave Boniello ’84, President of Simplex Homes and chair of the “Innovation at Work” Capital Campaign, stand in front of a rendering of Ideal Saldi Hall. For more information about Johnson College’s comprehensive, 5-year capital campaign, “Innovation at Work,” visit 

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