NEWS | Aug. 31, 2021

Training, certifications diversifying workforce knowledge at Tobyhanna Army Depot

By Ms. Danielle E. Weinschenk

Training, certifications diversifying workforce knowledge at Tobyhanna Army Depot | Article | The United States Army

Internationally-recognized professional certifications are helping Tobyhanna Army Depot employees take their skill sets to the next level.

The depot recently expanded its in-house access to training that prepares employees for the Certified Electronics Technician (CET) professional certification. Managed by the Electronics Technicians Association – International (ETA-I), the various forms of CET are recognized worldwide and validate that an individual has the skills and training to perform electronics work to an industry standard.

There are four stacking certifications under the CET umbrella. The Associate Level certification, CETa, confirms that employees with less than two years professional experience/training in electronics meet ETA-I expectations. CETj builds on the entry-level CETa certification and requires additional hands-on experience as well as training in advanced electronics theories such as photonics, optics and telecommunications. Personnel who desire to further their credentials can then pursue the CETsr certification, which requires more than six years of education/experience, an active CETa certification, and high marks on the Journeyman level examination. The final CET designation is the CETma – noting an individual’s mastery in many different fields of the ever-evolving electronics field.

The decision to pursue CET training for employees was an easy one, according to George Salitsky, the deputy director of the C4ISR directorate.

“Just as our AS 9100/9110 certification puts Tobyhanna on par with the best of private industry, CET credentialed employees give the depot a competitive advantage. Gaining these important certifications shows that Tobyhanna employees are committed to keeping their skills sharp. The certification assures a measurable level of expertise, knowledge and quality against our electronics competitors,” he said.

Personnel from the Employee Development Division (EDD) have hosted four iterations of the “Associate CET Review and Exam Prep Course” for depot electronics personnel. The course reviews CET training materials and provides a refresher on electronics basics. It also covers tactical strategies for taking a professional certification exam. By design, students have the opportunity to take the CET exam immediately after completing the course.

“Taking the test right away ensures the course materials are fresh in a student’s mind,” said James Ashton, an EDD training administrator from the Resource Management Directorate. “We are focused on setting our students up for success.”

Carlos Marques is an electronics mechanic helper in the C4ISR directorate who joined Team Tobyhanna in 2019. He voluntarily pursued the CET certification to expand his skill set.

“I’m competitive by nature, and I knew the CET training would help me with my future career goals.”

On top of his existing electronics knowledge, Marques’ preparation for the exam included the taking the depot CET prep course as well as several months of intense independent study.

“After taking the prep course and the practice exams, I was able to identify the gaps in my knowledge and develop a study plan. The books and digital resources were a huge help. I even used YouTube tutorials to help me master the materials,” adding that he believes the rest of Team Tobyhanna’s electronics personnel are also up to the challenge.

“While the exam was difficult, I believe it can be done by focusing on small portions of material at a time.”

Patrick Connolly, chief of the Command Post Systems Branch, lauded Marques’ accomplishment and noted the importance of industry-standard accreditations such as CET.

“Carlos is an analytical self-starter, and it is no surprise to me that he was able to pass the CET exam. The CET certification helps our workforce expand their knowledge in the vast field of electronics and grow themselves, benefitting both themselves and our mission. Workforce agility is key to ensuring we can support any requirement for the joint warfighter.”

The CET initiative is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028, particularly the Invest in Our People, Shaping the Future and C5ISR Readiness lines of effort.

Depot training personnel are currently piloting an expanded CET preparation course. Employees interested in the CET certification should review Employee Bulletin #33 or contact EDD at X56492.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for C5ISR systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

About 3,700 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command’s mission is to empower the Soldier with winning C5ISR capabilities.