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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: To build communities, invest in people

At Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) we are proud of the employment opportunities we’ve created in the communities we serve.

In 2013, our workforce expanded by 20 percent, and it’s still growing as 2014 draws to a close.

While adding new jobs is a priority for us, it is also important that we help our employees and our members develop professionally whenever possible.

A great example of this is journeyman lineman Nate Stalcup, who recently graduated from our apprentice program. Nate started at Valley as a groundsman directly out of high school. But after learning more about the company and watching the work of his colleagues, he decided to take advantage of the apprenticeship program to advance within VEA.

The apprenticeship will help Nate—a Pahrump native who is raising a family there—to build a career at Valley, and in fact, he hopes to become a foreman.

Nate’s progression in his work and his ties to Pahrump demonstrate something important about why we encourage our employees to learn and grow professionally.

Valley doesn’t offer apprenticeships simply because we need linemen. And we don’t offer additional training or our continuing education program just because we want better educated employees, although we certainly do.

While these programs directly address the employment needs of VEA, we also created them because developing and growing local talent is a strong way to support our members and their communities.

This is the cooperative way of doing business.

It’s the same reason we provide a scholarship program that helps our members (or children of members) work toward a traditional four-year degree, complete vocational or technical training programs, or even participate in continuing education courses.

For Valley Electric, supporting professional development and education clearly makes business sense, because investing in people today will only strengthen our communities tomorrow.

Tom Husted has served as the CEO of VEA 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.

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