Every April, electric cooperatives across North Carolina and the nation commemorate Lineworker Appreciation Day, recognizing the dedicated men and women who utilize intricate skill and expertise to build, maintain and repair the power lines that provide electricity to cooperative members.
In honor of Lineworker Appreciation Day this year, Shay Reed, senior crew leader at EnergyUnited, appeared on Raleigh-based WPTF’s Morning Show with Rob Connett to discuss the day-to-day work of lineworkers and why they are so important to the communities they serve.
“On a normal day, lineworkers across our state are working to extend our lines to new members in a timely manner while also continuing to upgrade our systems to ensure overall energy reliability,” said Reed. “We are always analyzing our process for ways to make things better for our members.”
Reed also provided information on educational and professional development opportunities for lineworkers in North Carolina and those looking to enter the industry. Reed noted that the career field is “growing leaps and bounds,” and there are plentiful opportunities for aspiring lineworkers to take advantage of.
Lineworkers participate in extensive training and adhere to numerous protocols and procedures to ensure safety as they work to maintain co-op lines and restore power to members. In addition to serving their own communities with safe, reliable power, lineworkers also provide mutual aid in times of need following inclement weather and other emergencies. In these situations, lineworkers will often have to leave their families for days at a time to help restore power to co-op members across the state and region.
“Our lineworkers are highly skilled professionals in every sense of the word,” said Farris Leonard, director of job safety and training at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “They literally bring us through some of our darkest hours, and we depend on them to power our lives day in and day out. From extreme weather or severely damaged facilities, their safety and the safety of the public is a priority of all lineworkers.”
Approximately 1,400 lineworkers serve North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives, and there are more than 120,000 electric lineworkers nationwide.
The second Monday in April has been designated as Lineworker Appreciation Day in North Carolina by the N.C. General Assembly, and as National Lineworker Appreciation Day by the national trade association of electric cooperatives. Throughout the entire month, electric co-ops and utilities recognize and celebrate the hard work and dedication of their lineworkers who work tirelessly day and night to keep power flowing to homes and businesses across the nation.
Join us in sharing the hashtag #ThankALineworker throughout this month to shine a light on the men and women who keep the lights on in our homes and power our communities.