Tobyhanna Recognizes Employees on National Tradesman Day

Members News

Tobyhanna Army Depot observed National Tradesman Day on September 21 by shining a spotlight on some of its expert tradesmen and saluting all tradesmen who contribute to the organization’s mission.

The depot employs artisans in a variety of trades for both mission and base operations. Many of these tradesmen work in the Directorate of Systems Integration and Support (SIS), supporting refinishing and manufacturing operations vital to Tobyhanna’s overall mission supporting the joint warfighter.

Charles “CJ” Janiszewski works in SIS’s Machining Branch and is responsible for a variety of tasks, including machine program editing and set-ups. A graduate of Johnson College, he says Tobyhanna Army Depot was always his employer of choice.

“As soon as I graduated college, I pursued a career here because I was interested in an important mission like supporting the warfighter. I also heard a lot about the modern facilities here, and they did not disappoint,” adding that he appreciated the opportunity for personal growth thanks to the depot’s vast number of career opportunities.

Machining Branch Chief Keith Knecht lauded Janiszewski’s performance and contributions to Team Tobyhanna.

“CJ’s positive attitude makes him a great team member. He goes out of his way to help others, regularly offers suggestions to make things better, and is always willing to learn new things. He’s a rare find.”

After 14 years as a member of the depot workforce, Sheet Metal Mechanic Christopher Valenza still comes into work with a smile on his face.

“It’s amazing to be able to take a simple sheet of metal and transform it into something useful. I appreciate that I get to create something new every day,” he said.

A carpenter by trade, Valenza always had an interest in other types of hands-on work, but it wasn’t until he joined Team Tobyhanna that he began working with metal. According to Valenza, legacy employees get the credit for helping him transform his career.

“When I started here, I was lucky to have great mentors that provided me with on-the-job training and helped me apply my existing carpentry skills to this similar type of work. All these years later, I’m still using their teachings.”

Keith Knecht, currently dual-hatting and acting as chief of the Sheet Metal Fabrication Branch, noted the important role Valenza plays in the cost center.

“Chris is our go-to guy in the forming area. He is a creative problem-solver, ensuring we can always address our challenges and meet our customer requirements. He is also excellent at communicating potential issues – an extremely important quality in such a dynamic environment.”

Welder Matthew Nelson is one of the Branch’s top employees, according to Welding Branch chief Robert Knecht.

“Matthew has a commendable work ethic and is dedicated to our mission. His knowledge and experience make him a true subject matter expert.”

Nelson began welding in high school and parlayed his hobby into a profession after earning a degree at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. After several years of working in the private sector, he pursued a career at Tobyhanna.

“I was looking for a stable place to continue practicing my trade and Tobyhanna fit the bill. I was also excited about the opportunity to travel the world in support of missions,” Nelson said. He also noted that his depot experience so far had been positive – especially because his co-workers have been so willing to share best practices and knowledge. Looking ahead in his career, he says he’d like to become a certified welding inspector to continue to support his unique trade.

“The science of welding continues to impress and interest me.”

Robert Knecht says the Welding Branch has more than one superstar.

“Gerard Reichle goes above and beyond to produce the best quality product and, without hesitation, is always willing to step up to help – no matter how challenging the task. He is a great asset to our Branch, and the depot overall.”

Reichle joined Team Tobyhanna in 2018 after his private sector company was bought out. He says the challenging experience led him to great things.

“I can sum it up in four words: I love it here. Although it was disappointing to leave my last job, I love the culture at Tobyhanna.”

Like Valenza, Reichle has a background in carpentry, but was drawn to welding after high school.

“I appreciate that welding allows me to do something different every day – my work is rarely repetitious.”

When the work day ends, Reichle continues to work with his hands, whether it’s a major woodworking project or another item on his “honey do” list.

“I like to keep busy.”

Those interested in future career opportunities with Team Tobyhanna can apply through USAJobs at