Being part of a cooperative means being part of something special. Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are celebrating National Cooperative Month in October, along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people nationwide.
“Cooperatives Build” is the theme of this year’s National Cooperative Month. “There are so many ways that cooperatives help to build a stronger rural America,” says Trent Scott, vice president of corporate strategy for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Tennessee’s electric co-ops have a significant impact on the communities we serve in ways that go far beyond the delivery of energy.”
Consider these ways that co-ops build:
Cooperatives Build Trust
Most co-ops strive to adhere to seven key cooperative principles, which combine to help build trust between the co-op, its members and the community. For example, the first principle is Voluntary and Open Membership, which means that we are a voluntary organization open to all people to use our services and willing to accept the responsibility of membership. The second principle, Democratic Member Control, gives members a voice in the cooperative’s policies and decisions. Through the fifth principle, Education, Training and Information, co-ops enable members to contribute to the development of our cooperative.
Cooperatives Build Community
The seventh cooperative principle is Concern for Community. Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through employee involvement in local organizations, through charitable contributions to community efforts and through support for schools.
Cooperatives Build Jobs
Cooperatives generate jobs in their communities, keep profits local and pay local taxes to help support community services. Cooperatives often take part in community improvement programs, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to benefit from the cooperative experience. Tennessee co-ops employee more than 2,600 employees across the state, creating many technical and professional career opportunities otherwise unavailable in rural communities.
For more information, visit www.coopmonth.coop.