Thank a Lineworker // March 2021 CEO Column

Daniel Carlisle // President/CEO & General Counsel

When asked to associate an image or a person with Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative, many people would picture a lineworker. Some of the most visible employees of the co-op, lineworkers work tirelessly to ensure our community receives uninterrupted power 24/7.

“Lineworker” is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. This is understandable as they perform detailed tasks near high-voltage power lines. Regardless of the time of day or current weather conditions, lineworkers are sent out to get the job done.

Being a lineworker takes years of specialized training, ongoing education, dedication, and equally important, a sense of service and commitment. How else can you explain the willingness to leave the comfort of your home to tackle a challenging job in difficult conditions, when most are sheltering comfortably at home? This dedication and sense of service to the community is truly what sets them apart. That’s why we set aside the second Monday in April to celebrate and recognize our lineworkers who work around the clock to keep the lights on.

While lineworkers may be some of the most visible employees at Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative, it’s important to note that there is a team of highly skilled professionals working behind the scenes. Staff provide ongoing expertise and guidance on the operations side of the co-op. Member service representatives are always standing by to take your calls and questions about your account, rebates, energy efficiency, and more. Those who work in TWEC’s finance department help ensure the fiscal health of the cooperative. These are just a few of the individuals who work together so we can deliver the service and reliability you expect. Without them, our lineworkers wouldn’t be able to “bring the light” to our community.

When our region experienced extreme and long-lasting cold temperatures this February, Todd-Wadena was prepared and able to provide reliable electric service to our members. The historic winter weather drove up demand for natural gas and electricity to such an extent that some parts of the country experienced rotating outages. Thankfully, our wholesale power provider, Great River Energy (GRE), has a system designed to provide reliable electricity in extremely cold weather. At no point during the polar vortex were rolling blackouts considered for our region. GRE’s facilities, coal, gas, fuel oil, and wind performed as planned for extreme weather events.

Todd-Wadena’s dedicated lineworkers deserve all the appreciation and accolades that come their way on Lineworker Appreciation Day. On April 12, and any time you see a lineworker, I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their exceptional service. I also hope you’ll remember that you have a dedicated team of professionals working behind the scenes at the co-op whose commitment to service runs just as deep.

Daniel Carlisle
President/CEO & General Counsel