NASHVILLE – Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation hosted the 21st Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, June 29-30. The two-day competition recognizes and rewards excellence in safety, skill and knowledge in the field of utility line work.

Full results are available on the Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo website.

Results of Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association members are listed below (top three in each category).


Team Results

Hurtman Rescue

Volunteer EC, First Place
Cumberland EMC, Third Place
Tri-State EMC

Hot Cutout Change

Cumberland EMC
Tri-State EMC
Volunteer EC

3 Phase Tie Event

Volunteer EC
Tri-State EMC
Cumberland EMC

VC1-2 Insulator Change

Tri-State EMC
Cumberland EMC
Volunteer EC

Overall Totals

Tri-State EMC
Cumberland EMC
Volunteer EC


Individual Apprentice Results

Written Test

Donald Young, Southwest Tennessee EMC, Third place
Ricky Hutcherson, Southwest Tennessee EMC
Ireneo Rose, Caney Fork EC

Hurtman Rescue

Ireneo Rose, Caney Fork EC, First Place
Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Bobby Buttrey, Middle Tennessee EMC

B-1 Tie In

Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Middle Tennessee EMC, First Place
Chase Patterson, Middle Tennessee EMC
Dalton Stephenson, Southwest Tennessee EMC

A-6 Bell Change

Dalton Stephenson, Southwest Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Middle Tennessee EMC
Harley Deline, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Dead Lift

Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Middle Tennessee EMC, First Place
Chase Patterson, Middle Tennessee EMC, Third Place
Harley Deline, Southwest Tennessee EMC

Overall Totals

Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Middle Tennessee EMC, First Place
Chase Patterson, Middle Tennessee EMC, Third Place
Dalton Stephenson, Southwest Tennessee EMC


Individual Journeyman Results

Hurtman Rescue

James Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Thomas Carlton, Southwest Tennessee EMC, Third Place
Brad Kincaid, Middle Tennessee EMC

A-6 Bell Change

James Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC
Nathan Neal, Middle Tennessee EMC
Danny Crawford, Middle Tennessee EMC

Cutout Change

James Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC, First Place
Chris Gossett, Middle Tennessee EMC, Third Place
Rusty George, Middle Tennessee EMC

Skill Climb

James Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Brad Kincaid, Middle Tennessee EMC
Danny Crawford, Middle Tennessee EMC

Overall Totals

James Grant, Middle Tennessee EMC, First Place
Brad Kincaid, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Danny Crawford, Middle Tennessee EMC, Third Place


Senior Results

Hurtman Rescue

Chris Couch, Holston EC, Second Place
Bo Ashbury, Middle Tennessee EMC, Third Place
Trent Cary, Gibson EMC

B-7 Insulator

Bo Ashbury, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Chris Couch, Holston EC
Trent Cary, Gibson EMC

Dead Lift

Bo Ashbury, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Trent Cary, Gibson EMC
Chris Couch, Holston EC

Overall Totals

Bo Ashbury, Middle Tennessee EMC, Second Place
Chris Couch, Holston EC, Third Place
Trent Cary, Gibson EMC

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America. As many as one in five Americans will be diagnosed with the disease. People who work outdoors in the summer, including many employees of electric cooperatives, are at even higher risk.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association worked with the American Cancer Society to develop resources to remind co-op employees of the dangers and the simple precautions that should be incorporated into their daily routines.

“Millions of Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Fortunately, there are some simple precautions that you can take to reduce your risk,” says Greg Broy, spokesperson for the American Cancer Society in Tennessee. “We are pleased to work with the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association to increase awareness of these precautions for the thousands of electric co-op employees across the state.”

TECA has developed a poster and the infographic below to remind co-op employees and the public to have a sun-safe summer.

 

suninfo

NASHVILLE – Electric lineworkers face many dangers – high voltage, heights and extreme weather conditions. Despite these challenges, one of the most dangerous aspects of the job has less to do with what they do and more to do with where they do it.

Lineworkers frequently work alongside busy roadways, often only feet away from passing cars.

Tennessee’s “Move Over” law was passed in 2006 to protect first responders like police officers, firefighters and paramedics. In 2011, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives led a coalition to revise the state’s move over law to include utility workers as well. Unfortunately, seven years after the law was passed, many motorists do not follow it.

“We have had cars come through at high rates of speed, hitting the cones we have set up and clipping the outriggers that we have down to support the trucks,” says Greg Bryant, line foreman for Gibson Electric Membership Corporation in Trenton, Tenn. “I think people care, they just don’t pay attention like they should.”

The requirements of Tennessee’s move over law are simple. On a four lane road, if safety and traffic conditions allow, a driver approaching a utility vehicle with flashing lights should move into the far lane. On a two lane road or when changing lanes is not possible, a driver should reduce their speed.

Electric co-op vehicles aren’t the only utility vehicles covered; service vehicles used by municipal electric systems, telephone companies and utility districts are also protected by the law.

More information about the law is available at moveovertennessee.org.

MURFREESBORO – Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation will host the 21st Annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo this coming Friday and Saturday, June 29-30, at Tennessee Miller Coliseum located at 304 W. Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, Tenn. The two-day competition recognizes and rewards excellence in safety, skill and knowledge in the field of utility line work.

Hundreds of competitors from across the Tennessee Valley will perform various tasks from 40 feet in the air on utility poles, including hurtman rescues, skill climbs and various equipment installations and replacements. Participants are judged on safety procedures, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling and timely completion of each task. The rodeo includes events for apprentices, journeymen teams of three, individual linemen and a senior category for lineman age 45 years and up.

“We are excited about the opportunity to host the Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo,” said MTEMC President Chris Jones. “A lot of planning and hard work will come together at the end of this week, and we encourage those in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County to come by and join us.”

The rodeo will begin with an opening ceremony Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Miller Coliseum. Individual and senior competitions will take place Friday beginning at 2 p.m. The rodeo continues Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend the Tennessee Lineman Rodeo, and it is family-friendly with food trucks and a kids play area.

For more information about the event, visit www.tnrodeo.com.

[NASHVILLE] – On Thursday the Trump administration released details on a reform plan that would reorganize multiple federal agencies. Among the recommendations included in the report was a proposal to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority’s transmission assets.

In response to the administration’s proposal, David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, made the following statement:

“TVA transmission assets are important to residents of the Tennessee Valley. The federal government’s original investment in TVA has been fully repaid with interest by the people served by TVA, and these assets should not be sold to outside investors. If the administration wishes to divest of TVA transmission assets, they should be transferred to their rightful owners – the consumers of TVA power. Tennessee’s electric co-ops are owned by the people we serve, and we will pursue all options, including purchase of TVA assets, to protect our rate payers and the transmission lines they have paid to build.”

For more than 50 years electricity sales, not government appropriations, have paid for the operation and maintenance of TVA’s assets. According to 2013 study by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, TVA has returned to the U.S. Treasury more than $3 billion on the government’s original investment of $1.4 billion.

Tennessee’s electric cooperatives serve 71 percent of the state and more than 2.5 million consumers. The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives. The association also publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit tnelectric.org or tnmagazine.org to learn more.

For more information:
Trent Scott, Vice President for Corporate Strategy | 731-608-1519 | tscott@tnelectric.org

NASHVILLE – 185 students, teachers and co-op chaperones spent a week in our nation’s capital as delegates of the 2018 Washington Youth Tour. The annual event, sponsored by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and the state’s 23 electric co-ops, provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and cooperatives and develop their leadership skills. Students were selected for the trip by writing short stories titled “Electric Cooperatives – Going Beyond the Wires” that explain how co-ops provide communities with much more than electric power.

“The investments that co-ops make in Youth Tour pay real dividends for these young people and the communities where they are from,” said Todd Blocker, vice president of member relations for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and tour director. “They come home with a deeper understanding of history and government. More importantly, we want them to be prepared to have a positive influence on their hometowns and to consider leadership roles when the opportunities come along.”

West Tennessee youth tour delegates received a surprise greeting from Gov. Bill Haslam as they departed on Thursday, June 7, in Jackson. Haslam was in Jackson and boarded the bus to speak with the students. “I hope you have a great time,” said Haslam. “I also hope you fall in love with the idea of serving in public office – whether it’s in Washington, Nashville or on the local city council or school board.”

While in Washington, D.C., Tennessee’s Youth Tour delegates saw the White House and memorials to past presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well as monuments honoring the sacrifices of veterans of World War II and the Vietnam and Korean Wars. During visits to the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the touring Tennesseans saw and experienced natural, historical and artistic treasures. Other fun stops included historic homes of former presidents — George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Jefferson’s Monticello — as well as Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a boat cruise down the Potomac River. Among other Youth Tour highlights was a solemn and sobering visit to Arlington National Cemetery where the group laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The group was welcomed to the U.S. Capitol by Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and members of the Tennessee congressional delegation who posed for photos and answered questions.

While in D.C., winners were announced in the statewide competition for the Robert McCarty Memorial Scholarships. Silas Freeze from Gibson Electric Membership Corporation was awarded the $3,000 first-place scholarship for writing the top-judged short story of the more than 10,000 papers submitted across the state. McKinley Thomas from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative earned second-place honors and a $2,000 scholarship, and Mary Kate Sheppard from Forked Deer Electric Cooperative, third place, received a $1,000 scholarship.

McCarty was an employee of Volunteer Energy Cooperative and longtime chaperone on the annual Youth Tour. McCarty lost a battle with cancer in 2015, and sponsoring cooperatives renamed the scholarships in honor of his love for young people.

Matthew Byrd of Tipton County, a recent graduate of Munford High School, was awarded a $10,000 Cooperative Youth Ambassador Scholarship. Byrd was a 2017 delegate for Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation on the Washington Youth Tour. In the year following the tour, delegates who remain engaged with their sponsoring cooperatives and complete certain community service requirements are eligible for the scholarship. Byrd’s name was randomly selected from among the 37 delegates from across the state who completed the requirements.

“The excitement that co-op leaders and chaperones have for these students tells the story,” said David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “These young people are the next generation of doctors and teachers and farmers in the communities we serve. We want them to be passionate about their communities and prepared to lead when those opportunities come along.”

President Lyndon Johnson inspired the Washington Youth Tour in 1957 when he encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital. In the years since, more than 6,000 young Tennesseans have been delegates on the Washington Youth Tour.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tennessee’s electric cooperatives awarded $16,000 in scholarships to Washington Youth Tour delegates on Tuesday evening, June 12, in Washington, D.C.

Matthew Byrd, a senior from Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, was awarded a $10,000 Cooperative Youth Ambassador Scholarship. Byrd was a 2017 delegate of the Washington Youth Tour. In the year following the tour, delegates who remain engaged with their sponsoring cooperative and complete certain community service requirements are eligible for the scholarship. Byrd’s name was randomly selected from among the 37 delegates from across the state who completed the requirements.

Silas Freeze from Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, McKinley Thomas from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative and Mary Kate Sheppard from Forked Deer Electric Cooperative were awarded $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 Robert McCarty Memorial Scholarships for having the first, second and third place papers of the more than 10,000 papers submitted across the state.

2018 Robert McCarty Memorial Scholarship winners from left Silas Freeze, McKinley Thomas and Mary Kate Sheppard. Photo by Robin Conover.

McCarty was an employee of Volunteer Energy Cooperative and long-time chaperone on the annual youth tour. McCarty lost a battle with cancer in 2015, and sponsoring cooperatives renamed the scholarship in honor of his love for young people.

More than 135 high school Juniors from across the state are in the nation’s capital this week for the 2018 Washington Youth Tour. The annual event teaches students about public policy, history, leadership and electric cooperatives. The annual event is coordinated by local electric cooperatives, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

“Washington Youth Tour is an investment that pays real dividends for students, co-ops and our rural communities,” said David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “These are exceptional students, and our hope is that their youth tour experience creates opportunities for them, their families and their communities.”

Instagram photo by Youth Tour delegate Mikala Blackmon

[NASHVILLE] – More than 135 students from across Tennessee are headed to Washington, D.C., as a part of the 2018 Washington Youth Tour later. The annual event, which begins today, provides young leaders with an opportunity to explore the nation’s capital, learn about government and develop their leadership skills.

The Washington Youth Tour is sponsored by the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and local electric cooperatives from across the state. Students were selected for the trip by writing a short story titled “Electric Cooperatives – Going Beyond the Wires” that explains how co-ops provide communities with much more than electric power.

Delegates on this year’s trip will visit museums and monuments, including the White House and the Capitol Building. The group is also scheduled to meet with Sens. Alexander and Corker as well as other members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation.

West Tennessee youth tour delegates received a surprise greeting from Gov. Bill Haslam as they departed on Thursday, June 7, in Jackson. Haslam happened to be in Jackson and boarded the bus to speak with the students. “I hope you have a great time,” said Haslam. “I also hope you fall in love with the idea of serving in public office – whether it’s in Washington, Nashville or on the local city council or school board.”

“As easy as it is to get frustrated with Washington politics, we can’t allow this generation to lose interest in government and public service,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Youth tour gives these students the opportunity to experience history and democracy up-close, and we hope they return with a deeper appreciation of America and a desire to serve their communities.”

President Lyndon Johnson inspired the tour in 1957 when he encouraged electric cooperatives to send youngsters to the nation’s capital. In the years since, more than 6,000 young Tennesseans have been delegates for the Washington Youth Tour.  Politicians, business leaders, authors and athletes are Washington Youth Tour alumni, including Apple CEO Tim Cook.

 

FORT WORTH – TECA staff received 11 awards during the Cooperative Communicators Institute awards ceremony Monday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Cooperative Communicators Association works with electric, telephone, agriculture and purchasing cooperatives across the country to help members excel in communications – from writing, photography, and editing to video, layout, and design.

“The CCA awards recognize excellence in communications from co-ops of all types, and we are encouraged by this positive feedback,” says David Callis, executive vice president and general manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We take pride in the quality of work that we produce, and it is exciting to see others recognize our efforts. Congratulations to our communications staff and the other award winners.”

Awards were presented to TECA team members in the following categories:

Writing

Column
Third Place
David Callis
“Tennessee Today”

Headline
First Place
Ron Bell
“A Drive Against Poverty”

Photography

Scenic/Pictorial
Robin Conover
First Place
“Sunset at Buzzard’s Roost”

Photo Feature
Second Place
Robin Conover
“Hippie Helps”

Smartphone
Second Place
Robin Conover
“Self Portrait”

Photo Illustration
Third Place
Robin Conover
“Unique Spring Greens”

Photo Illustration
First Place
Robin Conover and Trent Scott
“Well-dressed Lineman”

Photo Essay or Story
First Place
Robin Conover
“A Drive Against Poverty”

Cover of the Year
Second Place
“The Tennessee Magazine – December 2017”

Cover of the Year
Third Place
“The Tennessee Magazine – April 2017”

Programs and Projects

Web Site
First Place
Trent Scott
“The Tennessee Magazine website: www.tnmagazine.org

Refrigeration products manufacturer to create 210 new jobs in Pickwick Electric Cooperative service area

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Monogram Refrigeration, LLC officials recently announced that the company will expand its manufacturing facility in Selmer. Monogram, a leading manufacturer of upscale refrigerators, freezers and other refrigeration products, will invest $9.3 million and create approximately 210 new jobs in McNairy County. The company’s manufacturing facility has been located in Selmer since 1986.

“In Tennessee, we strive to make our state the perfect location not only for companies to locate new operations, but for existing companies to expand,” Haslam said. “With our ready-to-work workforce and business-friendly climate, existing companies are able to excel in Tennessee. I thank Monogram, one of our most well-known brands, for reinvesting and expanding in Tennessee and for helping us get one step closer to our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“I want to thank Monogram for choosing to expand in McNairy County and for creating 210 new jobs in Selmer,” Rolfe said. “Monogram has a long history in Tennessee, and it means a great deal that a company of this magnitude is expanding its operations here and creating even more job opportunities for Tennessee residents. This is a fantastic win for Selmer and McNairy County, a Tier 4 Distressed county, and I appreciate Monogram for its continued investment in Tennessee.”

Monogram is a subsidiary of GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, a leading U.S. manufacturer of household appliances.

“The state of Tennessee and McNairy County have been terrific partners. They’ve worked with Monogram over the years as we’ve grown our refrigeration business in Selmer,” Raymond Deming, vice president, Monogram Refrigeration Operation, LLC, said. “Now, their continued support will help us bring to Selmer an entirely new product line and create approximately 210 jobs ranging from production associates, skilled trades and professional employees that will take our employment close to 400.”

With this expansion, Monogram will be adding 120,000 square feet to its existing building in Selmer. In addition to a new line of column-style refrigerators and freezers, Monogram will begin manufacturing packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), a line of commercial heating and cooling products sold under the Zoneline® brand. Production of the new refrigeration products will begin later this year and production of the new Zoneline air conditioning units will begin in early 2018.

“What a great day for the town of Selmer and McNairy County,” McNairy County Mayor Ronnie Brooks said. “I want to thank GEA-Haier for investing in us. We appreciate the confidence that the company has placed in our county, our economic development team and our great workforce here in McNairy County.”

“This is great news for the town of Selmer and our workforce,” Selmer Mayor John Smith said. “I am very pleased that GEA-Haier is expanding and bringing over 200 quality jobs to the town of Selmer. This is a true testament of the company’s confidence with our local team, the State of Tennessee and the leadership at the manufacturing facility in our community.”

“I am thrilled that GEA-Haier has chosen to make this investment in Selmer,” McNairy County Economic Development CEO Eddie Crittendon said. “These 210 jobs will have a huge impact on this community. Monogram has a great team here in Selmer and I am honored that GEA-Haier has chosen to grow with us here in McNairy County.”

“TVA and Pickwick Electric Cooperative congratulate Monogram Refrigeration on its plans to invest and expand operations in Selmer, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, McNairy County Economic Development, the City of Selmer and McNairy County officials to help existing companies like Monogram thrive and add jobs in the community.”

Selmer and McNairy County are represented by Sen. Dolores Gresham (R – Somerville) and Rep. Ron Gant (R – Rossville) in the Tennessee General Assembly.