This week is National Volunteer Week, and Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 18. There is a common thread in both – values.
Recent news stories about “lineman rodeos” show the dedication and hard work of these electric industry people. A look at electric company websites report stories of many employees working in the community.
While there may be a day or week devoted to this recognition, it is a year-round thing. Good citizenship has been a tradition in electric industry employees in general. The people who work at nuclear plants, fix distribution lines, take calls from customers, clean solar panels or procure parts for the power system are also PTA members, Scout leaders, tutors, Little League coaches…
No matter the company, it’s true, for investor-owned utilities, municipal systems and co-ops. It is in their DNA. The fabric of the community is its people. Electric industry people serve both on and off the job.
ECC thinks that kind of civic dedication is important to point out. Especially as there are debates about all kinds of energy issues in the Carolinas, from nuclear plants, clean energy plans to ownership of companies. Electric industry community involvement has been a mainstay of the industry.
Being local yet being vastly networked and connected at the same time is a paradox practiced with success in the industry. For decades this has been true. It will remain true because it is an essential part of running an electric company for any customer.
Just a few sources of good information about power industry citizens:
- Santee Cooper community involvement
- Lumbee River Electric Membership Co-op volunteers
- Dominion Energy looks at its civic engagement
- Duke Energy looks at its civic engagement
- Laurens Electric Coop (Image to right)
- South Carolina Living magazine (from the co-ops)
- North Carolina Co-op education support
- Lineman Rodeo FYI
And…The Carolina Energy Workforce Consortium (representing North and South Carolina) is addressing a serious shortage of electrical lineworkers. They estimate that the industry will need approximately 800 new linemen each year for the next 5 years. Some places to look:
- Cape Fear Community College
- Horry Georgetown Technical College
- Berkeley Electric Coop
- And (left) a story from 2016 about being a lineworker in Duke Energy’s publication illumination