From the front lines to power lines

Baldwin EMC Board of Trustees

Electric co-ops have long had a special place in their hearts for veterans. Perhaps because they are both so closely aligned in outlook, focusing on service, mission and country. Maybe it’s because a large percentage of veterans come from rural communities and return to their hometowns following active duty. Or, maybe it’s due to the shared work ethic of teamwork, cooperation and a “get it done” attitude. Most likely, it is all of the above.

At Baldwin EMC we are among the more than 900 electric co-ops across the country to support and honor our nation’s veterans of all generations. We’re proud to say that as of October 2016, almost 10 percent of our workforce is made up of veterans. We also consider it a privilege to serve veterans and their families within our local community.

In addition to employing and supplying electricity to veterans, we’ve also participated in programs like Honor Flight, enabling veterans from the Korean conflict and WWII to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C. at no charge.

On a the national level, cooperatives support the “Serve our Co-ops; Serve Our Country” program, a nationwide initiative aimed at employing and honoring veterans, military service members and their spouses. This program came with a great vision of forming a national coalition with the shared goal of hiring veterans into co-op jobs across rural and suburban America and setting them up for success in their local communities.

America’s electric cooperatives are also working closely with federal partners, including the Department of Energy, Department of Labor, Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, labor unions and other trade associations on an industry-wide veteran hiring initiative, The Utility Workforce Initiative. Together, these groups are establishing a national employee resource group, Veterans in Energy, which will launch later this year to provide transition, retention and professional development support to military veterans working in the energy industry.

While the activities may differ, a commitment to supporting and caring for veterans is apparent at every electric co-op across this great nation. We at Baldwin EMC are proud to be a part of the cooperative network that honors and supports veterans of all ages, ranks and branches of the military.

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