From Scott Carlberg

It’s hard to learn from what hasn’t been experienced. New experience counts for a lot, especially with employee development, an important point in the Santee Cooper discussion that has not been raised.

Santee Cooper mismanagement affects planning, operations, finance, and employee development. If a company can’t manage core functions – adding generating capacity, for example – it likely can’t add capacity to the workforce for the future.

Santee Cooper struggles through so many basic things. Plans to add needed generation to meet South Carolina’s future needs have failed, and for decades. Debt, lots of it. Workforce reductions – corporate-speak for layoffs – was very much on the table at a recent board meeting.

In a fight for corporate survival, what resources will be available for the rank and file employees who remain?  What investments will be made for their futures? Executives will certainly be taken care of – with company-paid car leases, record setting executive compensation, and golden parachutes for those responsible for Santee Cooper’s costliest debacles. What is left for the employees?

Santee Cooper employees deserve the best training and development. The employees you see restoring power among downed tree limbs and power lines. The ones lining up at local blood banks and volunteering at community events. Customers deserve it because they benefit from that employee development.

Large companies have broad opportunities for people development. Doors open. There is a deeper bench, options for education, financial muscle.

Santee Cooper has been a South Carolina institution, it’s nice to think they could reform out of their mess, but reform can’t be built on deception or its history.

A Santee Cooper worthy of its employees and customers is not possible with state ownership. The past – and present – makes that clear.