Careers in Energy Week Highlights Co-op Commitment to Workforce Development

Every time Lauren Liles steps into a career fair, she sees more than a room full of company banners and display tables. She sees people who are ready to step in and impact the future of the energy industry, and North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives are ready to connect these individuals with careers that build a brighter future for our state.

Each October, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives recognize Careers in Energy Week, which runs from Oct. 16-20. With more than 2,800 employees statewide, co-ops are excited to continue to empower their employees to carry out the cooperative mission.

Beyond this week, North Carolina’s electric co-ops are on the recruiting trail year-round, attending events centered around clean tech, data science and several other growing fields.

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives display table at clean tech career fair.

“Being able to build connections and relationships with students, industry partners and organizational leaders is a major stepping stone,” said Liles, human resources operations manager for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “All of these partnerships are important to help build our future workforce.”

In the next five years, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, like many others in the utility industry, will collectively have almost 600 employees eligible for retirement. That means there will be plenty of jobs and opportunities to join a group focused on growth and community.

Co-ops are also investing resources into the future of lineworkers, a career field that is rapidly expanding with in-demand jobs across the state and nation. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have a formal lineworker training partnership with Nash Community College in Rocky Mount and have also worked with community colleges across the state on training programs and initiatives.

Cooperative lineworkers attend training classes at Nash Community College.

“North Carolina co-ops work to improve quality of life for rural North Carolina through innovative programs and direct community support,” said Dana Davis, vice president of human resources for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Co-op employees come to work knowing that not only are we committed to providing reliable affordable energy service for the communities we serve, but we are also working for a better, rural North Carolina.”

Through investments in training and workforce development, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are energizing a brighter future for co-op communities and members across the state.