Fall Foliage, Ovando, Montana

Engaging The Next Generation

Posted: January 27, 2020
Mark Hayden, GM

You’ve heard the old adage, “The youth is the hope of our future,” and here at MEC, we place a strong emphasis on actively engaging the young adult members at our cooperative. These are members that may be living on their own for the first time, members who are new to the cooperative business model or members who may not fully understand the many resources and offerings readily available at their local electric cooperative.

We’ve been asked a time or two, “How do I know if I’m a member?” This is, perhaps, one of the most important questions you can ask! The simplest response is this… if you pay your power bill to Missoula Electric Cooperative (MEC), you are a member! Once you sign up for electric service at MEC, there are an abundance of resources, classes and programs that are available to you – free of charge!

Each year, MEC partners with a variety of charitable organizations across each of our seven districts. This comes in the form of donations and sponsorships, or recruiting and sending employee volunteers. In past years, we’ve held events like “Pack the Lunchbox,” which called on our members to help us round-up school supplies to pack into lunch boxes for under-served schools and students. Another event, which our team looks forward to each year, is the Habitat for Humanity build, where a group of our team members work together to lend a hand in the construction of a home for a local family in need.

While these are merely two of the ways in which we are involved in the communities we serve, there are many more that may spark your interest! If you’d like to learn more about ways you can join our community engagement efforts, email marketing@meccoop.com and join our email list. We’ll keep you up-to-date on community service events or drives that may require extra hands!

Family, Youth and Education
Family, youth and education is a powerful trio at MEC. There are a plethora of ways in which we focus on these heavy-hitters. The list below offers a peek into our offerings, and I’m hopeful that you’ll continue to browse our website for additional information on any items that interest you or your family.

  • Our Family-Friendly Annual Meeting – This year, it will be held in the University of Montana UC Ballroom on March 21st at 11 AM
  • School Safety Series – free electrical safety training and demonstrations brought to your child’s school and/or your place of business
  • Annual Scholarships – This year, $17,000 is being awarded to 17 hardworking students who are pursuing education at an accredited Montana school.
  • Electronic Education Equipment Program (EEE) – a joint-venture with Energy Partners and Blackfoot that provides $30,000 a year towards improving electronic equipment at schools within our school districts.
  • Improvements in Education Program (IEP) – created to provide educational equipment, electronics, materials, field trips, and supplies to schools in our communities.
  • Youth Tour – each year, we award one lucky student with a one-week, all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC to learn firsthand about US History and our Government.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many offerings available at MEC. I encourage you to browse our website or follow us on social media for detailed descriptions of the programs and resources available to our valued members. And of course, I welcome you to join us at our family-friendly Annual Meeting on March 21st!