by | Mar 20, 2023

Co-ops purpose-built to serve members, communities

No matter where they’re located or what challenges they face, electric cooperatives need only look to the principles that created them in order to build a better future for their members and communities. 

That was the message the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) shared with nearly 9,000 co-op leaders during the association’s PowerXchange held March 5-8. NRECA leaders pointed to co-op youth programs, community betterment programs, infrastructure investment and workforce training as examples of how electric cooperatives are leading the future of energy.

“Electric cooperatives have the knowledge and the tools to do more for our members than at any point in time since we turned the lights on,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said. “We have the trust of our members and the support to make crucial new investments in our communities. It’s a big job — a job for leaders. Who better to take on that responsibility than us?”

During the meeting, retired AMEC CEO Barry Hart was honored with NRECA’s Clyde T. Ellis award. The award recognizes co-op leaders who’ve made exemplary contributions promoting the principles and progress of rural electrification.

Speaking to co-op leaders by video, President Joe Biden referenced significant policy wins by the co-ops in 2022.

“Rural co-ops like yours electrify America. Now we’re making the biggest investment in rural co-ops since the New Deal,” President Biden said. “Your communities are the backbone of the country. Investing in them is critical to our entire nation’s prosperity and security. Millions of Americans rely on you every single day. We owe you and we thank you.”

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