NDAREC hosts 56th Annual Apprenticeship Training and Safety Conference
The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) hosted its 56th annual Apprenticeship Training and Safety (AT&S) Conference on Jan. 15-17, 2020, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. The conference is an opportunity to reflect on what is happening in the industry and recognize the accomplishments North Dakota’s electric cooperatives have made in training and safety. The conference also recognizes the exceptional means in which the apprenticeship program trains tradesmen. This year, NDAREC recognized 14 graduates from two programs – lineworker and meter technician.
“It is critical for North Dakota’s electric cooperatives to plan for the future and train our workforce. Apprenticeship is an important part of that plan. Our apprentices recognize the value of paid on-the-job training coupled with a robust educational component that helps build generational greatness in our industry,” says NDAREC Safety and Services Director Christy Roemmich. “The AT&S Conference allows us an opportunity to celebrate the success of our apprentices and provide them with the knowledge and tools to keep them safe on the job.”
During an awards banquet, NDAREC recognized several cooperatives and cooperative employees.
- Cole Gubrud, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative, received this year's Outstanding Apprentice Award.
- Nathan Ruud, McLean Electric Cooperative, and Jeremy Yates, McKenzie Electric Cooperative, received the Stepping Up for Safety Award, which recognizes outstanding safety advocates who have greatly influenced a cooperative's safety culture.
- Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative earned this year's Superior Safety Performance Award.
- KEM Electric Cooperative was honored with two awards, the Outstanding Safety Service Award and the Significant Improvement Award, which recognizes the co-op’s efforts to make significant improvements which impacted their performance as measured through the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program.
- NDAREC also presented five co-ops with the Safety Performance Award, which recognizes co-ops for having zero OSHA recordable injuries for one year.
Graduates of the apprenticeship program include:
- Jurrell Lunday, lineworker apprentice, BT Mills Construction
- Kolten Sabinhas, lineworker apprentice, Central Power Electric Cooperative
- Tyler Jacob, lineworker apprentice, KEM Electric Cooperative
- Trevor Thomas, lineworker apprentice, McClean Electric Cooperative
- Eric Hellandsaas, lineworker apprentice, McKenzie Electric Cooperative
- Jason Seymour, lineworker apprentice, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
- George Gardiner, lineworker apprentice, Nodak Electric Cooperative
- Trey Lovcik, lineworker apprentice, Nodak Electric Cooperative
- Travis Pederson, lineworker apprentice, Nodak Electric Cooperative
- Cole Gubrud, lineworker apprentice, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
- Keaton Mikkelsen, lineworker apprentice, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
- Thomas Moravec, lineworker apprentice, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
- Ty Krehlik, lineworker apprentice, 3 C Construction
- Jeff Shelton, meter technician apprentice, McKenzie Electric Cooperative
Those who attended the 2020 AT&S Conference heard presentations on safety, teamwork and leadership. These presentations all correlated with the theme of the conference, “Training is our service; safety is our mission.”
NDAREC is the statewide trade association for 16 electric distribution cooperatives and five generation and transmission cooperatives operating in North Dakota. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 250,000 North Dakotans. NDAREC services include legislative advocacy, line worker safety training and professional development services, cooperative business development, and communication services including publication of the North Dakota Living magazine.