The Indicators Project


Indicators 2020

The Indicators project measures the region’s progress over time on key economic, education, public safety, health and human services, environment, and infrastructure measures. In short, it portrays quality of life in the region.

We’re capturing cutting-edge research, with the help of our network of issues-focused task forces. The insights we glean will help you make informed decisions regarding the challenges and opportunities you face as a community leader. Whether you’re a policymaker, an entrepreneur, or a nonprofit director, the trends we track are critical to a successful future.The impacts of COVID 19 will also be discussed as it relates to changes in our Indicator trends.


Mission

To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through examination of housing stock and housing affordability.

Purpose

  • 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 legislation and beyond.
  • The task force examines a variety of issues related to housing planning and zoning, affordability, housing stock, and homelessness. Key data and trends concerning these factors as well as case studies and best practices are considered.
  • The task force will maintains a bilingual education information best website to assist new and existing homebuyers.
  • The task force produces newsletters and coordinates events related to housing.

Task Force Members

  • Charlie Kasko, Simplex Homes - Chair
  • Joe Boylan, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce
  • Jesse Ergott, Executive Director, NeighborWorks Northeast
  • Steven Farrell, Owner, Classic Properties
  • Patrick Fricchione, President & CEO, Simplex Homes
  • Patricia Moroz, US, Housing & Urban Development
  • Joe Terrana, Terrana Law PC

NEPA Housing Link

Housing Research

2020: The Housing Divide in Northeastern Pennsylvania 2019: Implications of an Aging Housing Stock 2018: Aging in Place 2017: Measuring the Economic Impact of Blight in Lackawanna & Luzerne Counties 2017: Landbanks - A Brief on Highest & Best Use of Properties, The Foundation of a Successful Land Bank 2016: Homebuyer Handbook 2015: A Demand Analysis of Accessible and Affordable Housing in Northeastern PA 2012: The Impact on Housing in Selected Marcellus Shale Counties in Pennsylvania

Mission

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.

Motto

Education is our economic development future.

Purpose

  • 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.

Task Force Members

  • Lucyann Vierling, Director, Workforce Alliance - Chair
  • Jane Ashton, Director of Continuing Education, Penn State Wilkes Barre
  • Carolyn Bonacci, Director of Professional Continuing Education, Marywood University
  • Tom Baileys, Ed.D., Administrative Director, Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County
  • Lynn Biga, Executive Director, Luzerne County Head Start
  • John Blake, PA State Senator
  • Ida Castro, JD, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • Julie Schumacher Cohen, Director of Community Relations, University of Scranton
  • Michelle Giovagnoli, Director of Institutional and Academic Grants, King’s College
  • Brad Kovaleski, Director of Student Services and Engagement, Penn State Scranton
  • Sue Kuhl, Alternative Learning Center, LIU 18
  • Amanda Modrovsky, Director Sponsored Programs, Wilkes University
  • Kellyn Nolan, Chief Academic Officer, Johnson College
  • Jill Murray, Ph.D., Executive Vice President/Chief Academic Officer, Lackawanna College
  • Graceann Platukus,Ed.D., Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Luzerne County Community College
  • Ann Sadusky, Director of Human Resources, McCarthy Tire Service
  • Kirsten Smith, Education & Grants Director, WVIA
  • Debra Youngfelt, Executive Director, AHEC
  • Gerald Zaboski, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management & External Affairs, University of Scranton

Education and Workforce Development Research

2020: Millennial Workforce 2020: Rethinking the Trades 2020: Soft Skills 2020: Rethinking the Senior Worker 2019: Joint Task Force Report on Economic Competitiveness 2019: Overview of Economic Competitiveness (summary version) 2018: Fast Growing Occupations in Northeast Pennsylvania 2017: Understanding Regional Structural Unemployment 2017 2017: Analysis of Career & Technology Education and Its Role in STEM 2016: The Impact of Poverty on Academic Performance in Children 2015: Comprehensive Career Development Policy 2014: Career Preparedness - An Imperative in K-12 Education 2013: White paper on Teacher Evaluations & Recruitment 2012: White paper on Standarized Testing 2011: Policy Statement on STEM Education Requirements

Mission

To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through the formation of economic development strategies; economic analysis, case studies, and best practices relating to effective and efficient government, growth, revitalization, and sustainability as well as policy implications impacting all of the above.

Purpose

  • The task force is comprised of diverse groups of professionals to convene and participate in creating strategies, plans, policy solutions based on evidence, and best practices that have the potential to positively influence local and statewide economies and economic development in order to increase jobs, attract talent, and develop a more sustainable economic environment.

Task Force Members

  • Robert Luciani, Vice President Prudential Retirement Services, - Chair
  • Pam Anslinger, Financial Homeownership Specialist, NeighborWorks Northeast
  • Clarence Baltrusaitis, CEO, NET Credit Union
  • John P. Blake, PA State Senator
  • Joe Boylan, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce
  • Fran Calpin, Senior Director of College Relations, Keystone College
  • Colleen Carter, Director of Marketing, McCarthy Tire Service
  • John Cognetti, President & Broker of Record, Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate
  • Julie Schumacher Cohen, Director of Community Relations, University of Scranton
  • Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, Scranton Area Foundation
  • Frank Joanlanne, President, Borton Lawson
  • Venard “Scott” Koerwer, Ed.D., Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Planning, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • Katie Leonard, Ed.D., President, Johnson College
  • Joe Lettiere, Vice President, Greater Hazleton CAN DO, Inc.
  • Amy Luyster, Vice President, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
  • Jordan Petsas, Ph.D. Chair Department of Economics & Finance, University of Scranton
  • Ron Prislupski, Chief Development Officer, WVIA
  • Lucyann Vierling, Workforce Alliance
  • Marwan Wafa, Ph.D., Penn State Scranton

Jobs, Economy & Economic Development Research

2020: Labor Demand 2020: Industrial Automation 2020: Skill Shortages 2020: Comparative Analysis of Job Opportunities & Higher Education Completions 2019: Joint Task Force Report on Economic Competitiveness 2019: Overview of Economic Competitiveness (summary version) 2018: The Economic Ramifications of the Unbanked and Methods to Reduce the Unbanked 2017: Understanding Regional Structural Unemployment 2017 2017: Financial Literacy Levels Impact on the Economy 2016: Financial Literacy in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties 2015: Measuring the Local Economy 2014: An Analysis of Structural Unemployment in Northeastern PA 2013: An Analysis of Local Unemployment: Cyclical or Structural 2012: Regionalization or Lack Thereof is a Drain on the Local Economy 2012: PA Needs Business Income Tax Revisions 2011: Skills: Education is NEPA's Economic Development Future

Mission

To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through examination of best practices and policy in planning, land use, transportation, and infrastructure development.

Purpose

  • 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 legislation and beyond.
  • The task force examines a variety of issues related to planning, land use, and transportation systems.
  • The task force provided information and served on the advisory committee to the Bi-County Comprehensive Plan.

Task Force Members

  • Dr. Marleen Troy, Professor, Wilkes University, Chair
  • Carl Beardsley, Executive Director, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
  • Joe Glynn, Chief Technology Officer, WVIA
  • Robert Luciani, Vice President, Prudential Retirement Services
  • Lawrence Malski, Director, Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority
  • Lexie Langan, Business Development Leader, The Milnes Co., Inc.
  • Amanda Modrovsky, Director Sponsored Programs, Wilkes University
  • Jill Murray, Ph.D., Executive Vice President/Chief Academic Officer, Lackawanna College
  • Kevin O’Donnell, President, CAN DO
  • Steve Pitoniak, Lackawanna County Planning Commission
  • Sofia Vidalis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Penn State University
  • Vivian Williams, Director, NEPA Moves

Planning, Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure Research

2020: The Impact of Transportation in the Logistics Industry 2019: Employment Center Analysis 2019: Bus Systems Analysis 2018: The Intersection of Transit and Land Use 2017: An Analysis of Public Transit Demand in Lackawanna & Luzerne Counties 2016: Community Toolkit - Green Building 2016: Community Toolkit - Recycling 2016: Community Toolkit: Sustainable Transportation 2016: Community Toolkit: Sustainable Practices for Local Government 2015: Community Toolkit: Green Infrastructure 2015: Community Toolkit: Sustainable Community Survey 2014: Sustainable Communities 2013: Infrastructure Planning & Financing 2013: Policy Statement & Case Study - NEPA Regional Transportation Authority 2012: Policy Statement & Case Study - NEPA Comprehensive Plan 2009: Commuter Rail 2007: Land Use Planning and Sprawl

Mission

To improve the quality of life and standard of living for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania through examination of health status, health care delivery, healthcare costs and insurance.

Purpose

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 legislation and beyond. With Institute support, the task force will examine a variety of issues related to provider reimbursement, access, and other issues included in the health care reform act.Key data and trends concerning reimbursement, competition, and uncompensated care will be examined and policy statements will be developed as appropriate.Research may include both primary and secondary work.

The task force will provide insight into the health and healthcare indicators as appropriate to ensure a comprehensive, high quality set of benchmarks of health and healthcare status. The task force will work with staff to generate funding for a market study of patients and their appraisal of health care and providers in northeastern Pennsylvania to assess why millions of dollars are spent o n accessing healthcare outside the region on an annual basis.

Task Force Members

  • Steven J. Scheinman, MD, President & Dean, Commonwealth Geisinger School of Medicine and EVP and Chief Academic Officer, Geisinger Health System - Chair
  • Cornelio Catena, President & CEO, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital
  • William Conaboy, President & CEO, Allied Services
  • Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, Scranton Area Foundation
  • Marianne Devers, Vice President Healthcare Technologies, Topp Business Solutions
  • Maria Montoro Edwards, President & CEO, Maternal & Family Health Services
  • Brian Ebersole, Executive Director, Geisinger Springboard
  • Joe Grilli, President & CEO, Senior Day Services, A Telespond Company
  • Joseph Hollander, Executive Director, Scranton Primary Health Care Center
  • Scott Koerwer, Vice President, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • Barbara Norton, Director, Corporate and Foundation Research, Allied Services
  • Ben Payavis, Chief Content Officer, WVIA
  • Raymond E. Petren, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Human Development & Family Studies, Penn State Scranton
  • Tracey Pratt, Manager of Development, Johnson College
  • Brian Rinker, Senior Vice President, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Bette Saxton, Community Member
  • Ellyn Schindler, Director of Community Relations, Sanofi Pasteur
  • LaTida Smith, President & CEO, Moses Taylor Foundation
  • Susan Sordoni, MD, Founder Volunteers in Medicine
  • Laura Toole, Executive Vice President, Northeast Regional Cancer Society
  • John Wiercinski, Principal, JPW Consulting and Professor, University of Scranton

Health and Health Care Research

2020: Child Abuse & Neglect 2019: Food Access 2018: Health Literacy - A Public Health Challenge 2018: Social Determinants of Health 2017: An Examination of Oral Health Challenges 2016: An Examination of Opioid Challenges and Resources in Northeastern Pennsylvania 2015: An Analysis of Autism and Resources in Northeastern PA 2014: An Analysis of Mental Health Issues and Resources in Northeastern Pennsylvania 2013: Patient Migration as a Result of Patient Perception 2012: New Healthcare Infrastructure and Improved Economic Development and Patient Care

Mission

To convene community resources to strategically plan and promote the sustainable economic development of regional natural gas resources across business, education, political and community stakeholders.

Strategic Priorities

Convene and Facilitate Conduct meetings with stakeholders from the natural gas industry as needed for information sharing, issue identification, policy implications, consensus, and research outcomes.

  • Roundtable– Industry leaders, MSC representatives and The Institute’s Energy Task Force. Discuss opportunities, issues, and expectations
  • Business Expo , Supply Chain and Education events - Coordinate or find regional partners to conduct events as needed based on feedback from the roundtable.

Research

Prepare a regional strategic economic development plan to harness the economic opportunity generated by the natural gas industry for the benefit of businesses in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. Prepare other research as needed.

Task Force Members

  • Bill Sordoni, President, Sordoni Construction, Chair
  • Don Brominski, Business Development Director, UGI Utilities
  • Jody Cordaro, Principal, SCE Environmental Group, Inc.
  • Frank Joanlanne, President, Borton Lawson
  • Scott Lynett, Principal, Times Printing
  • John Nealon, Managing Partner, Baker Tilly
  • Bob Stoyko, Vice President Northern Region, UGI Utilities, Inc.

Energy Task Force Research

2019: Economic Impact Study of Coal Production Decline in NEPA - Full Study 2019: Economic Impact Study of Coal Production Decline in NEPA - Detailed Executive Summary 2019: Economic Impact Study of Coal Production Decline in NEPA - Impact Brief 2017: Pipeline Infrastructure 2017: Electricity and Natural Gas Cost Study 2015: Energy Task Force - A Case Study 2015: Pipeline Infrastructure 2012: The Impact on Housing in Marcellus Shale Counties in Pennsylvania 2010: Baseline Socioeconomic Analysis for the Marcellus Shale Development in Pennsylvania

Mission

To improve the quality of life and public safety through information, data and analytics.

Purpose

The task force will examine a variety of issues related to crime, street gangs, and other public safety issues.

The original Task Force Co-Chairs

  • Former Congressman Lou Barletta
  • State Senator John Yudichak

Operation Gangup

Public Safety Research

2018: Community Safety Index


Research Underwriters

Thank you to our 2020 Research Underwriters and Event Sponsors as of April 23, 2020

The Institute would like to sincerely thank our generous stakeholders who share our vision for a strong regional economy and healthy communities. Your support makes our work possible!

Signature Underwriters

($10,000 and above)

Contributing Underwriters

($5,000 level)

Pillars of a Strong Community

Pillars of a Strong Community is a model designed to systematically measure progress at achieving overall community strength, and provide a framework for benchmarking progress against similar regions around the United States.

2018: Pillars
2017: Pillars
2016: Pillars

Indicator Programs

The Institute was founded on the belief that good decisions are driven by good data. Since 2004, it has been our mission to serve organizations and communities by providing empirical, objective re- search that drives discussion and informs decisions.

2020: Virtual Indicators Program
2019: Indicators Program
2018: Indicators Program
2017: Indicators Program
2016: Indicators Program

Indicator Reports

The Institute is a non-profit research organization dedicated to empowering business and community leaders with research based strategies for informed decision making.

2020: Indicators Report
2019: Indicators Report
2018: Indicators Report
2017: Indicators report
2016: Indicators Report

Our Partners

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Johnson College
Keystone College
King's College
Lackawanna
Luzerne
Marywood University
Misericordia University
Penn State Wilkes-barre
Penn State Worthington Scranton
The Wright Center
The University of Scranton
Wilkes University