Pottsville's YES class smiles for the camera at the YES Breakfast

At St. Nicks Hall in Minersville, the Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Council (NEPA MAEC) hosted the annual YES Recognition Breakfast on May 9th, celebrating a successful year of the Your Employability Skills (YES) Program. The event highlighted the achievements of regional students who have spent the year honing crucial workplace skills—from effective communication to time management—preparing them to enter various industries with confidence.

YES is a 120-hour elective course designed for high school juniors and seniors. It equips students with essential skills that employers in various industries value highly, such as effective communication, time management, and interview techniques. The program is suited for all students, regardless of their future career paths, and serves as a bridge connecting them with the business community, enhancing their understanding of professional environments and expectations.

This year, the program maintained strong enrollment with 965 students enrolled and 182 graduates earning their YES Certificates. Since its launch, the program has seen 12,512 students participate, with 3,693 successfully earning certification. The program’s ongoing collaborations with higher education institutions have significantly benefited students. For instance, Penn State University has awarded 235 scholarships totaling $235,000 to YES graduates at its Hazleton and Schuylkill campuses since 2011. Additionally, Johnson College and the Pennsylvania College of Technology have also partnered with the program, offering scholarships and other educational opportunities that further support YES graduates as they transition to higher education.

The breakfast event celebrated these milestones and featured testimonials from students who benefited from the program. Jocelyn Whitecavage of Blue Mountain High School shared her perspective: “Earning the YES Certificate will set us apart in a competitive job market and some of us will even earn scholarships because of it. I’m grateful for the academic experience I’m having at Blue Mountain High School, but the YES program has truly equipped me with the skills I need for success in college and the workplace.”

YES Graduate Speakers with state representatives.

Students who earn the YES Certificate meet rigorous criteria including achieving a high school diploma, scoring at least grade level 9.0 in reading and math on the Test of Adult Basic Education, scoring 21 or better on the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test, passing a 6-panel drug screening, and demonstrating attendance of 95% or better while completing 120 hours of coursework. This year’s program also included engaging classroom speakers, tailored mock interviews, and industry tours that provided practical insights into various careers, with over 60 professionals from the business community participating in these events.

Darlene J. Robbins, President of NEPA MAEC, emphasized the program’s impact. “Congratulations to all of our YES graduates for your impressive achievements. Your dedication is a testament to the strength of this program and its importance to our community’s future,” Robbins said. “A big thank you as well to our business partners for their unwavering support and commitment, which are instrumental in preparing these young adults for successful careers.”

The YES Recognition Breakfast not only highlighted the accomplishments of its students but also underscored the continued success of the program in building a skilled and prepared workforce through collaborative efforts between education, business, government, and the community. As the YES Program looks to the future, it remains a cornerstone for fostering employability and enhancing the economic landscape of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Blue Mountain

Abby McGlinchey

Alexia Hixon

Austin Koch

Austyn Fields

Bella Weiss

Brigid Joyce

Brooke Donati

Charlie Patterson

Chase Millikin

Dylan Minnich

Gavin Moyer

Hannah Miller

Hunter Blankenhorn

Jocelyn Whitecavage

Katelyn Harrison

Kole Laughlin

Michael Frey

Noah Moyer

Owen Tomeo

Riley Wade

Ryon Crouse

Samantha Scheitrum

Skyler Leymeister

Stone Lesher

Wyatt Taylor

Zachary Kunkelman

Zack Shatrowskas


Gillingham Charter School

Athena Gerlek

Braylee Carden

Christopher Hill

Connor T. Czarick

Elijah Fry

Gabriel Herring

Kairi M. Bickford

Karina L. Gerlek

Kira S. Nagle

Logan E. Sabol

Lydia Ulrich

Scarlet Corcoran


Hazleton Area Career Center

Christian Hart

Jaylamaris Saldana

Maralin Merenda


Minersville Area

Abigail Stine

Angel Isaac Hernandez

Blake Wesler

Cade Schultz

Carson Boyle

Courtney Lynn Seiders

Emiliano Antonio Conklin

Gavin Slish

Gehrig Louis Milbrandt

Isis Rodriguez

Jack Maley

Kiera A Kurchock

Luke Stevenosky

Macie Carl

Marques Gregory Barnhart-Reeves

Mercedes Moore

Michael Steele

Rebecka Donnelly

Rex Bondura


North Schuylkill

Alexander Medina

Alyssa Schock

David Smith

Emanuele Vazquez

Emma Yeager

Haley Frantz

Isaac Dillard

Jack Hayes

Joshua Van Norman

Julissa Quintanilla

Kaitlynn Seeraj

Keith Whiteside

Kyle McCormick

Mackenzi McCabe

Marcus Heiser

Maryanne Snyder

Maxwell Suaréz Mercedes

Nicole Philemond

Taylor Shadle

Tremaine Hendricks

Zachary Van Norman


Pine Grove Area

Brennden Etzweiler

Emma Crawford

Felicia Blain

Gracianne Schneck

Heaven Dissinger

Hunter McConnell

Jayden McNulty

Jevin Carl

Jocelyn Hikes

Kaitlyn Kauffman

Kallie Kreider

Karlie Wolfe

Katie Kemmerling

Kenley Stine

Kierah Harwi

Kolby Minnich

Mackenzie Nagle

McKenna Valentine

Miranda Freeman

Rayna Zimmerman

Samantha Scheibley

Skyler Shanahan

Taylor Wright

Tyler Sleva

Zachary Pominville


Pittston Area

Abigail Armitage

Ethan Ungureit

Heather Ungureit

Ian Shearer

Kylie Doran-Nalewajko

Logan Walizer

Marilyn Lesh


Pottsville Area

Alaina Bauers

Alaina Sninski

Amelia Deibert

Ava Bowers

Brenna McGowan

Bria Krasnitsky

Ethan George

Hayle Weiss

Henry Mohl

Janiya Arroyo

Kali Hinkle

Katelyn Moran

Kelly Goodman

Kylie Morris

Logan Searfoss

Luke Gustus

Madison Carl

Malena Hollywood

Parrish McFarland

Sophia Lehane

Thomas Markus

Willow Skoraszewski


Shenandoah Valley

Angelique Zamudio Carmen

Brayden Maksimik

Brianna Gulden

Christian Batista-Perez

Christopher Davalos

Dustin Gallo

Elvis Lara Arevalo

Hayden Gervalis

Jeremy Thomas

Joan Menjivar-Sevilla

Katrina McNulty

Kaye Sheehan

Matthew Matakonis

Morgan Labosky

Oliver Flores Zamudio

Sitlali Medina-Chagolla

Tanner Golba

Tristian Karosas


Tamaqua Area

Abigal Alcantara

Aidan Stellfox

Calvin D. Breiner III

Dyamond A. Rodriguez

Espen Ansbach

Isai E. Vasquez

Jahsir O. Martinez

Jonathan H. Heffner

Matthew R. Welsh

Michael S. Rascavage

Nicholas Barron


Williams Valley

Alexa S. Deiter

Ally G. Underkoffler

Delaney Grace Talmadge

Emily R. Yeagley

Jayden C. Silks

Jeffry K. Rautzahn

Mallory D. Miller

Parker B. Lords

Tattiana L. Swartzlander