Wolf comes to Northeast to cut ribbon on education and jobs center

Gov. Tom Wolf was in the Northeast last week, cutting the ribbon on the Toben Center, an education and jobs hub at 7222 Castor Ave. (at Wellington Street).

The Toben Center took over for Little Learners daycare. It is home of the Northeast Learning Center, which offers high school diploma preparation and testing; Harcum College, which offers associate degree programs; and Philadelphia Works, a job and business resource and referral center.

Wolf was joined by state Rep. Jared Solomon and state Sens. Tina Tartaglione and John Sabatina Jr. Debbie Bello, director of admissions at Orleans Technical College, sung Pennsylvania to honor the governor’s presence.

The center opened a few months ago, receiving zoning approval over the opposition of the Oxford Circle Civic Association, which cited concerns about parking. Tartaglione backed the civic.

Solomon described the center as an innovative “one-stop shop.”

“This is a great day for the Northeast,” he said.

Wolf said the center is all about one of his priorities: workforce readiness.

“Your dedication to the folks in this neighborhood is helping all folks in Pennsylvania,” he said of the tenants.

Tartaglione, elected in 1994, said she’s worked with five governors, and credited Wolf with being the best at bringing people together to make things happen.

Jon Jay DeTemple, president of Harcum College, said he is happy to have a location in a neighborhood that offers affordable tuition.

Philadelphia Works president and CEO Pat Clancy called Northeast Learning Center director Bonnie Kaye the “real rock star” due to her passion and caring. Clancy also thanked all staff.

“The real beauty of our center is we have people who care,” he said.

Kaye thanked Solomon, saying his policies have made Oxford Circle safer.

Kaye also introduced her longtime administrator, Richard Brown, and said she and Brown’s dream is to make other people’s dreams come true. ••