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Johnson College Plans Satellite Campus for Tech Certifications

The new 30,000-square-foot building will house academic certificate programs in welding technology, industrial technology and property maintenance technology, and a two-year program in electrical construction technology.

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(TNS) — Scranton-based Johnson College will be opening its first-ever satellite campus in Humboldt Industrial Park, its president and CEO announced Wednesday.

The technical college partnered with Greater Hazleton CAN DO in the endeavor, which will bring industry-grounded educational opportunities to the Hazleton area starting later this year, Dr. Katie Leonard said during a brief news conference.

"When students walk through the doors here at Johnson College at the CAN DO Training Center, they will experience real world, hands-on learning in a supportive environment," she said.

"Our goal is always to help our students succeed in their chosen field and strengthen the essential workforce," Leonard said.

The campus will be located in a 30,000 square-foot industrial building on Maplewood Drive, which was once home to McCann School of Business and Technology, and will welcome its first students in August.

Students will be able to pursue academic certificate programs in welding technology, industrial technology and building and property maintenance technology; and a two-year associate and applied science degree program in electrical construction technology, Leonard said.

Also, continuing education certificates, including medical assistants, computer support and security specialists, will be available, and coming soon, a Class A CDL driver training course, she said.

Students can view available courses at

The technical college, started by Orlando S. Johnson more than 110 years ago, was built on the premise that men and women should have access to learning a useful art and trade, one that will benefit the region and fuel the local economy, Leonard said.

"We carry his mission forward today," she said.

Leonard thanked everyone at CAN DO, and Joe Lettiere, its CEO and president, for helping bring the idea for the satellite campus to fruition.

"What an important and exciting day for Greater Hazleton," Lettiere said, addressing community leaders, elected officials and those affiliated with the college.

"For decades, CAN DO has worked to bring a technical school to the Greater Hazleton community," he said. "Johnson College made that a reality."

Lettiere said that CAN DO, as an economic development organization, is geared toward improving the quality of life for people in the area through the creation and retention of employment opportunities, along with workforce development.

"The programs that Johnson College plans to offer here truly move the needle for members of our community through access to future careers that provide family-sustaining wages," he said. "We are fortifying our future growth through the expansion of education."

Locating within the Humboldt park will give Johnson College and its graduates access to more than 60 industries providing more than 10,000 jobs, Lettiere said.

"We're hoping that this college is able to reach each and every one of the community members that wants access to great technical training," he said.

Lettiere was joined by his board Chairman Charles Burkhardt, state Sen. David Argall, newly elected state Rep. Dane Watro, and Johnson College board Chairman Patrick Dietz in offering remarks.

"On behalf of the quarter-million people, I'm privileged to represent in Luzerne, Carbon and Schuylkill counties, congratulations on this new partnership. It really is needed," Argall said.

Johnson College has been impacting the Scranton area for 110 years, and now brings that student-first, industry-driven drive to the Hazleton area, Dietz said.

"All of us on the board look forward to August, when students fill these hallways, classrooms and labs, as they take their first steps to achieve their life-changing career goals," he said.

CAN DO purchased the building five days ago, Lettiere said, and will be working through temporary leases with current occupants. Johnson College has a 15-year lease on the building, Leonard said.

Bill Burke, vice president of enrollment and student affairs, said the college will occupy about 15,000 square feet of the building, and has the opportunity to expand. They forecast about 30 students enrolling in the academic programs and continuing education initially, Burke said, and the campus will employ two full-time staff members and two full-time faculty members, with the those numbers expected to grow with enrollment.

Tuition at Johnson College is just over $18,000 a year, Leonard said, but the majority of the college's students receive some time of financial aid. Lettiere also noted that many industries will pay for the courses.

©2023 the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.