President’s Report: In a Transition Year, Co-op Sees Changes to Broadband Partnership, Staffing

Coop Currents Coop News

by Stephen Knowlton Sometimes, things seem to work out even if they don’t come off quite the way as originally planned. Readers of Co-op Currents will recall that Washington Electric had been in the process of applying for a $36.5 million loan from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to construct a 900-mile long fiber network in WEC …

For World-Renowned Marriage Therapists, High Speed Internet Is a Missing Piece of Business Operations

Coop Currents Coop News

When Israel and Cathie Helfand moved to Cabot in 1997, it was a conscious choice to bring hands-on homesteading into their daily life, and wilderness into their therapy practice. Using the carpentry skills that put Israel through graduate school, they rehabbed a 1845 farmhouse, built trails and gardens, and reintroduced farm animals, creating a space where visitors could decompress. Many …

Bernstein and Reed Will Not Run Again, Opening Two Seats on WEC’s Board of Directors

Coop Currents Coop News

Longtime WEC directors and officers Barry Bernstein and Annie Reed have announced they do not plan to run for re-election to the Board in 2022. This opens two of the three Board seats up for election. Incumbent Steven Farnham will run for re-election. The Board of Directors sets policy and develops the long term vision of Washington Electric Cooperative. Every …

Cost equity and policy evolution at a time of change

Coop Currents Coop News

Steve and Louis discuss the why behind costs and policy decisions President’s and General Manager’s Message Cost equity Louis: We’re at a strange juncture of abundance and scarcity. Our state is receiving lots of federal money for infrastructure, we are encouraging our members to purchase electric vehicles and switch over from fossil fuel to electric devices, and yet we’re looking …

Operations Crew Ready for 2022

Coop Currents Coop News

One of the many factors that made 2021 historic was the state of labor. Across the country, across industries, for many different reasons, people left jobs or changed employers. In settled times, WEC has a fairly settled workforce, with employees regularly celebrating 10, 20, even 30 year work anniversaries with the Co-op. But this past year, WEC experienced the shifting …

WEC overcomes tree crew labor shortage, works to catch up on Right-of-Way clearing before winter

Coop Currents Coop News

Larry Gilbert, Right of Way Manager Over 2021, WEC’s operations department felt pinches in the supply chain and labor market just like most other industries. But in an essential industry—distributing electric power—in a rural service area, with storm season upon us, those pinches can have real effects. WEC contracts with several tree crews to help manage vegetation growth in its …

Strategic steps forward

Coop Currents Coop News

Louis Porter begins GM journey with WEC-wide strategic planning, assessing risk before broadband project goes before membership and regulators, storm preparedness, call for Board candidates, and the season of giving President’s and General Manager’s Message Strategic start Steve: The General Manager sets the process for operating the utility, brings new skills and a new outlook in carrying out the WEC …