Lincoln County Power strives to have a well-trained work force. Training in the electric utility industry is an absolute necessity given the dangers involved when working in and around high voltage power lines and substations. Monthly safety meetings are held to ensure all employees work safely at all times. Besides training on safety, because the electric utility industry is rapidly moving to incorporate technology in all aspects of utility operations, Lincoln County Power provides other training opportunities for its employees. From training on system protection and control systems to improve grid reliability, to training on bar coding of inventory to reduce inventory costs and improve material handling efficiency.
In addition to focusing employee training on areas such as safety, technology, and other specific utility functions, in the fall of 2020, Lincoln County Power developed and instituted a program designed to develop the next generation of leaders at Lincoln County Power.
The program, known as the Employee Development Program, is open to all employees. The Employee Development Program is intended to:
- Expose employees and let them cross train in other areas of the utility that they may not be familiar with.
- Give them training in areas to help them develop skills needed for a manager.
- Give them leadership opportunities.
- Provide them with coaching and mentoring.
During the Employee Development Program, candidates receive:
- Formal classroom training in Power Supply, Leadership, Business Writing, Public Speaking and Presentations, Accounting, and System Operations.
- In-house training on the seven cooperative principles, management metrics, Board communications, problem solving, customer service, load forecasting, and business planning.
Candidates in the Employee Development Program are also required to complete various projects, such as conducting a key ratio trend analysis review, developing a residential surge protection plan, and preparing a system load forecast. Assignments are designed to broaden each candidate’s understanding of the electric utility industry.
The final step of the program is for each candidate to prepare their own business plan for Lincoln County Power identifying what they would propose to do if they were the general manager. Their plans entail an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats at Lincoln County Power, and their action plan. Each candidate is then able to present their business plan to the Board.
The first five employees to complete the program were Dane Bradfield, Melissa Cheeney, Kyle Donohue, Steve Lucchesi, and Richard Wilson. At the meeting of the Board of Trustees on May 11, 2021, Board President Ed Wright presented each with a certificate of completion.
Congratulations to each of these five candidates for completing the program. Their commitment and effort to complete the program will ensure that Lincoln County Power is a premier rural electric utility, now and in the future.