North Fork of the Blackfoot River

The POWER of our Team

Posted: April 1, 2021
Mark Hayden
Mark Hayden, GM

If our community members were asked to think of one thing that represented Missoula Electric Cooperative, a common response, would most likely be a lineman. One of the most visible positions at an electric cooperative, lineworkers execute tasks that many wouldn’t want to, at all hours, throughout all seasons. Their dedication to the job, ensures that our members have safe, uninterrupted power, around-the-clock.

Lineworkers are consistently ranked among the most dangerous jobs in the United States. A logical ranking, as their daily work requires them to perform skilled tasks near high-voltage power lines. Not to mention, lineworkers climb power poles, while donning heavy equipment, work from a bucket, that is 40+ feet in the air and perform specialized tasks in unpredictable weather conditions.

As you can see, being a lineworker is not an easy profession. It takes years of specialized training, ongoing education and a dedication to safety. Equally important, lineworkers must have a sense of service and commitment, to not only our members, but also their crews. It is because of these many reasons, that we celebrate Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 12th of each year – to recognize the men and women, who power our community!

While lineworkers may be the most visible employees at MEC, it’s important to commend and share the talents of those who work behind the scenes. The Operations and Engineering Departments support our crews, maintain our right-of-ways, install new services and supervise safety and overall operations. And where would we be without the welcoming personalities in Member Services? From a member’s first impression of the co-op, to managing a multi-line phone system during outages, the expertise and knowledge of this group is a tremendous asset to the co-op. Similarly, the Accounting team specializes in all things financial – they handle accounts payable, work orders, budgeting, capital credit distribution and much more.

The remaining departments, might be “one-man” shops, but they’re equally important! Our Chief Technology Officer oversees the technology needs of the co-op, including our cybersecurity program and software upgrades and updates. Our Communications and PR Manager directs internal and external communication efforts, including MEC’s social media, website and Rural Montana. Human Resources manages payroll, benefits and other employee-related tasks, like staffing and onboarding. And finally, our Energy Specialist, develops programs focused on renewable options, and works hand-in-hand with members to strengthen energy efficiency in their homes or businesses.

Collectively, this group is a well-oiled-machine, that seamlessly works together to keep the power flowing to our communities. Each position plays a significant role within the Cooperative, and without them, our lineworkers wouldn’t be able to power the lives of our members. I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their service.