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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: The economic impact of VEA

As Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) continues to grow, it is important to recognize that our cooperative has a far-reaching economic impact on southwestern Nevada and the region as a whole.

We recently developed a detailed 2013 Economic Impact Report to offer in-depth information about VEA’s significant contributions to the local and statewide economies in recent years.

I would like to take a moment to discuss several of the report’s most significant sections. As many of you know, our cooperative has experienced tremendous growth. In 2012 alone, VEA won more than $100 million in new service contracts. In addition, our assets reached an impressive total of more than $314 million in October 2013, nearly doubling the figure recorded in 2008 as a result of various capital improvements and other valuable endeavors.

VEA’s purchasing activity related to goods and services has also increased rapidly, growing to $57.2 million in 2012 when excluding the cost of purchased power. This increased spending allows VEA to support a growing number of local businesses, which plays a critical role in our ongoing mission to promote economic growth in the communities we serve.

Perhaps most importantly, our recent growth has also allowed us to expand our workforce by approximately 38 percent since 2010. At VEA, we are dedicated to creating new jobs for hard-working community members, and we fully expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

The report also discusses the rate savings available to VEA members, which serves as a top priority for our cooperative. We look forward to maintaining rate stability for years to come.

In fact, we recently signed new power purchase agreements that will play a critical role in averting rate increases for our members in the coming years. VEA’s current financial forecast does not call for a rate adjustment until 2018.

I encourage community members to read the new Economic Impact Report, which is available on our website at www.vea.coop. The report can be found in the “News &Ruralite” section of the website.

As we continue to foster the development of economic opportunities in our region, please remember that our success is your success. While we have a number of goals in the coming years, none are more important than working to support our member-owners.

Tom Husted has served as the CEO of Valley Electric Association, Inc. since 2006. He has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry across the Western United States, including more than 20 years as a CEO.

Each monthly edition of VEA’s Ruralite magazine features a column from Husted, offering his thoughts about issues affecting the cooperative and the communities it serves. These monthly columns are reprinted in the Pahrump Valley Times.