Public Power Lineworkers Named to AMP Wall of Fame4 min read
AMP has chosen to collectively name the public power lineworkers in the AMP member footprint as the 2022 inductees to the AMP Wall of Fame. AMP made this decision to honor their hard work and dedication to their craft, and to highlight their integral role in our communities and society at large.
Linework is a profession that demands passion, dedication, ongoing training and a willingness to work around the clock in sometimes difficult situations, all to provide us with safe, reliable electricity. Lineworkers are true first responders — quick to action, never hesitating to head out in a storm when inclement weather or natural disasters disrupt the power supply.
Of the more than 240,000 lineworkers across the United States, many are public power lineworkers — those employed by the more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities. Public power lineworkers have a unique quality in that they are driven by a powerful sense of purpose and community. They take personal pride in their communities’ electric systems because they typically live in the community they serve. They have a pride of ownership in the system, and it becomes part of who they are. In turn, the customers in public power communities come to depend on these lineworkers, who are valued and appreciated by their fellow community members.
These hometown heroes make sure electricity is powering homes, businesses and community facilities, and provide mutual aid to help fellow public power communities that are struck by electric outage emergencies, such as when a serious storm or tornado strikes.
Both behind the scenes and on the front lines, lineworkers:
- Ensure the safe and reliable delivery of power;
- Identify operational efficiencies and cost-effective solutions;
- Participate in apprenticeship programs to attain journeyman positions through on-the-job training;
- Aid fellow utilities in times of need; and
- Plan for the grid of the future.
Public power lineworkers are dedicated to ensuring public safety; they provide exemplary service to their communities; and they devote themselves to maintaining the electric system and distribution lines that power the homes, businesses, hospitals, schools and offices of their families, friends and neighbors. Their work supports the local economy because their commitment to maintaining a reliable electric system keeps local businesses and manufacturers running. They are a big part of the glue that holds a community together.
And when a storm does knock out power? They work until it’s restored. In the words of an electric superintendent from a borough in eastern Pennsylvania: “We’re going to move forward together as a community, nobody is left behind. We work here tirelessly, with my crew of 11 people; we will make sure that every person’s lights are back on before we go home.”
Another electric superintendent in a public power community in Ohio said, “I get a great sense of self-gratification being able to help those that are in real need. And, you know, to understand what it’s like to provide the service back to customers when they need their power back on is something that you don’t really understand unless you’re able to do it.”
Across the United States, there are thousands of other examples like these.
Public power truly is a collection of people doing the right things for the right reasons. Public power lineworkers are the embodiment of that statement. Every day, they display their commitment to their communities by working all hours of the day, often in hazardous conditions, to keep the power flowing. It is for these reasons and more that they deserve this special recognition and our gratitude for all that they do to serve our communities.
My parents both worked in the utility industry and helped me to understand its importance from an early age. From the time I was very young, I knew what type of work lineworkers performed and the importance of those efforts because my father’s engineering office at the investor-owned electric utility where he worked was located off the lineworker garage. With that came a great deal of respect for electric lineworkers and their profession. To build on that, during my time with AMP, I’ve worked on a number of lineworker-related programs, including safety and technical training, Mutual Aid and the AMP and APPA Lineworker Rodeos. I’ve also heard clearly in my conversations with members about the challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified line workers. These factors were the drivers in the decision to recognize AMP Member lineworkers by naming them to the prestigious AMP Wall of Fame this year.
I encourage you to follow our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages and join us in honoring the work that lineworkers do. Additionally, a number of promotional materials have been made available to members on the Public Power Connections Page of the Member Extranet (login required). I encourage our members to peruse these materials and take the time to thank and honor their public power lineworkers.
The AMP Wall of Fame was established in 2010 to honor those individuals who, through their dedication, have made significant contributions to AMP and public power. The AMP Wall of Fame includes the names of individuals who have left an indelible mark on the organization. Plaques outlining the inductees’ contributions hang on the Wall of Fame in the AMP Board of Trustees room at AMP’s headquarters in Columbus. A plaque honoring public power lineworkers will be added to the wall to recognize their outstanding efforts and contributions to AMP and our members.