Tobyhanna Celebrates Interns

Members News

Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) observed National Intern Day on July 27 by spotlighting depot employees who joined Team Tobyhanna through internship programs.

The Pathways Program provides streamlined Federal employment opportunities for students near graduation and recent graduates. Current students can participate in the Internship Program for temporary summer jobs, while recent graduates can apply for permanent jobs at Tobyhanna.

Blake Praschak is bringing the knowledge he has gained as an Electrical Construction Technology student at Johnson College to Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Electrical Cable Branch.

Praschak said joining Team Tobyhanna was easy because “everyone talks about how great (TYAD) is.”

Seeing it firsthand, Praschak agrees with the sentiment. Blake has been supported and mentored by his colleagues in the shop.

“I learn something new every day by watching, paying attention and soaking in as much as I can. And when it comes time to apply what I’ve learned, work leaders know you will make mistakes and are happy to work with you. They tailor your work to get you different experiences.”

Praschak has gained valuable hands-on experience with soldering and cable manufacture through his work in the cable shop. Most importantly, he feels he is being molded into the best employee he can be for a noble cause.

“Tobyhanna’s mission helps you get up in the morning. Knowing that your work is important to the safety of our nation’s warfighters is a rewarding feeling.”

Chief of the Electrical Cable Branch Bob Olshefski said Blake, and all student workers, are part of a long-term strategy to ensure that experienced team members are mentoring the brightest minds of the next generation.

“Students offer a fresh perspective and are eager to learn processes. Having students in the shop helps to create a synergy and rejuvenates the shop into a learning and teaching mode. This generation of students has displayed respect, want to learn, and an appreciation of the knowledge they are receiving.”

Penn State student Megan Askew recently joined Team Tobyhanna in March. A lifelong admiration for America’s military personnel led her to their current position as a student trainee Production Controller in the Production Management Directorate.

“My father is a U.S. Navy veteran, and I was interested in working as a civilian to support servicemembers like him,” she said.

The Pathways program affords Askew the opportunity to work alongside experienced production controllers and logistics management specialists to learn the business side of Tobyhanna’s mission. Assigned to the Joint Threat Emitter program, she monitors cost and schedule, collaborating with production floor personnel to ensure a timely, quality product for the warfighter.

Although her career aspirations were originally not focused on the logistics field, Askew noted how her experiences here have shaped her future plans.

“I really enjoy what I do, and I can absolutely see myself having a long career at Tobyhanna Army Depot,” she said. “There is so much opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it,” She also wants to further her education by gaining a Master of Business Administration degree when she graduates from Penn State next year.

Askew praised her experiences thus far at the depot.

“Tobyhanna is a great place for interns.”

An artist at heart, Megan spends her free time painting, singing, and learning new musical instruments.

Internships can often be the foundation for a long and rewarding career, according to Chase Gardner, Chief of the Project Engineering Branch.

While a junior at Penn State, Gardner entered the Pathways program’s predecessor, the Student Career Experience Program, as an intern and worked part-time at Tobyhanna while completing his degree. He says the experience was extremely valuable.

“Interning allowed me to gain practical experience that complemented my academic studies,” he said. “The opportunity also allowed me to see what types of skills I would need to be an engineer at Tobyhanna and then ensure I took those classes to round out my skillset.”

After graduation, Gardner joined Team Tobyhanna as a full-time electrical engineer. As a lifelong learner, he sought out additional developmental experiences in the Production Management Directorate; the Command Group; and through various leadership trainings – all of which led to his current position.

“During the first seven years of my depot career, I had a singular view of the depot. Developmental assignments helped me understand the business as a whole, a critical skill to advance in my career.

Gardner encourages self-starters to pursue a depot career, noting the vast array of career options.

“Endless opportunities exist at Tobyhanna. You just need to seek them out.”

Students interested in future internship opportunities with Team Tobyhanna can apply through USAJobs at For more information, students can visit the Office of Personnel Management website at

Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, dubbed TOBY2035, has four strategic focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications and aims to posture the organization for future success. The Invest in Our People team is focused on recruiting the best talent to join Team Tobyhanna, including interns, who bring a fresh and unique perspective to the workplace.