Education and Workforce Development


To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through Pre-K -20+ educators and workforce development professionals partnering with business to create seamless, high quality NEPA education system.


Education is our economic development future.


The task force is comprised of diverse groups of professionals to convene and participate in creating policy solutions based on evidence and best practices that have the potential to impact statewide education policy.

The task force examines a variety of issues related to connecting educators to workforce development and business.

The task force will provide insight into methods to increase higher education attainment in NEPA.

The task force will work to educate the community on how education and an educated workforce is the most effective economic development tool the region has.

Education and Workforce Development Research

Visit The Institute’s You Tube Channel for short videos on our education and workforce development research. 


Institute Research

Task Force Members

  • Katie Pittelli, Ed.D, President & CEO, Johnson College – Chair
  • Jane Ashton, Director of Continuing Education, Penn State Wilkes Barre
  • Karen Baker, Senior Director Advancement, Johnson College
  • Erica Barone, Ph.D., Provost & Chief Academic Officer, Lackawanna College
  • Jumee Barooah, M.D., Designated Institutional Official, The Wright Center
  • Lynn Biga, Executive Director, Luzerne County Head Start
  • John Blake, District Director, Congressman Matt Cartwright
  • Julie Schumacher Cohen, Director of Community Relations, University of Scranton
  • Matt Giombetti, Business Services Rep, EDSI Lackawanna County CareerLink
  • Jordan Goff, Business Services Consultant, Lackawanna County CareerLink
  • Brad Kovaleski, Director of Student Services and Engagement, Penn State Scranton
  • Sue Kuhl, Region 7 (NEPA) Career Readiness Liasion, LIU 18
  • Jill Murray, President & Chief Innovation Officer, Lackawanna College
  • Kellyn Williams, Associate Vice President of Special Programs, Johnson College
  • Graceann Platukus, Ed.D., Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Luzerne County Community College
  • John Pullo, Interim President, Keystone College
  • Connie Sixta, VP for Quality and Assurance, The Wright Center
  • Kirsten Smith, Director of Career Services, Fortis Institute
  • Dara Soljaga, Associate Dean of Education, King’s College
  • Alissa Swarts, Director of Education, WVIA Public Media
  • Debra Youngfelt, Executive Director, AHEC
  • Gerald Zaboski, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management & External Affairs, University of Scranton