Jim has been with the Agency for Community EmPOWERment of NEPA (ACE) as Executive Director since 2019. Prior to becoming the Executive Director, he served as ACE’s Weatherization Director, helping establish a statewide Weatherization Deferral program, and SLRDC Director, leading ACE’s effort to help develop high-quality affordable housing in Northeastern PA. Under Jim’s leadership, ACE continues to look for ways to fill the needs of the community by developing programs that address community shortfalls and improve economic outcomes. One recent need was for transportation and workforce help. To respond, ACE developed a Workforce Initiative Program designed to help people get the work skills needed to gain and maintain employment. This program includes the Rise and Ride and Vehicle Assistance Program to help individuals solve transportation barriers to joining the workforce.
Previously, Jim served as Chairman of the Lackawanna County Board of Commissioners, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of County Departments and led the County from no credit rating to an A credit rating in only four years. The County went from an operating deficit to a $28 million dollar surplus during his tenure. Jim also served as a five-term Pennsylvania State Representative in the 114th Legislative District where he served on the Environmental and Energy, Small Business, Commerce, Gaming Oversight, Professional Licensure, and other committees. One of Jim’s many accomplishments as a state legislator was helping lead the charge for the Commonwealth to start Early Learning Programs such as Pre-K Counts and HSSAP, experience which is invaluable in his current role at ACE.
Growing up in a small business family, Jim learned the value of hard work and how to overcome diversity while being community-minded. He holds his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a minor in Economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pennsylvania before transferring to Marywood University to complete his Master’s in Public Administration.
Jim has two children and is involved in coaching youth sports.