For me, this is a time of year for reflection and topping my list of things I’m grateful for is our wonderful community. I know I speak for all JOEMC employees when I say that we are thankful to be in such an incredible place. We are fortunate to live in the same place where we work, making our ties to this community much stronger.
Last month, you may recall that my column touched on the first three Cooperative Principles, so I’d like to tell you about the remaining four principles this month. The Cooperative Principles are essential to the co-op business model and benefit all members of the co-op.
Autonomy and Independence
The fourth principle, Autonomy and Independence means that the co-op operates in an autonomous way that is solely directed and guided by its members, reflecting the values and needs of our local community. This means the co-op is not being influenced by leaders or shareholders several states away, and instead, the co-op is led by the local members it serves.
Education and Training
The fifth principle, Education and Training, focuses on enhancing the knowledge of co-op employees and board members, enabling them to contribute to the co-op’s development.
By investing in continuous learning for our employees and board members, our co-op is committing not just to individual professional and personal growth but also to the future of the co-op and the high quality of service our members expect and deserve. It’s a win-win situation.
We also strive to inform our members (that’s you!) and the public about the mission and operations of the co-op. That’s why you receive this newsletter every month so that we can share the latest co-op news and updates, as well as energy efficiency and safety tips.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperation among cooperatives is the sixth principle and fosters how co-ops work together to address more significant challenges. While this principle applies to all types of cooperatives, it is especially relevant in the energy industry. In our case, we put this principle in action after major storms and disasters that cause widespread power outages. When this happens, we call on nearby co-ops to come to our aid and assist with restoration efforts—and we, of course, extend the same help to them when they need us. I can’t think of a better example of cooperation among cooperatives.
In addition, because we are part of the national electric co-op network, we can connect and collaborate with other electric co-ops to tackle industry-related challenges, like cybersecurity and an ever-changing energy landscape.
Concern for Community
The seventh principle, Concern for Community, is essential to who we are as cooperatives. We serve our community not only by being an essential service but by helping to power our local economy. Whether through economic development, volunteerism, or donations to local causes, we invest in this community because it’s our home too.
I think you’ll find that most cooperatives bring good people together to make good things happen in the community. We hope you feel that way about us, your local electric co-op.
On behalf of everyone at JOEMC, we’re thankful for your membership and for you being a part of the co-op; we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.