SPEC announces promotions

Published 1:06 pm Wednesday, October 22, 2008

By Staff
special to the standard
Southern Pine Electric Cooperative General Manager Vince Johnson is pleased to announce the promotion of five long-time co-op employees.
Linemen Brad Harris, Tommy Cole and Steve Blackman, all based in the Brewton headquarters office, have completed the courses of study and labs necessary to progress from lineman two to lineman one status.
The courses completed by these employees were offered by Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives in Montgomery, and allow lineworkers to work toward their journeyman classification.
Students in this program of study must complete four books of textbook material facilitated by a trained instructor.
The training also includes three hands-on training labs. Students enrolled in this course meet four to six times a year. Tests on materials are administered during these meetings.
The courses cover the technical issues of the electric distribution system, safety measures and basic skills needed by lineworkers.
Skills developed include: personal and job safety skills; construction and operations of the electric power system; setting and removing of poles; ground and pole construction; emergency rescue operations; and system troubleshooting.
The curriculum also includes mathematics, electrical theory and fundamentals of alternating current.
Lab sessions cover pole climbing, line construction, transformer installation, bucket truck operation, system grounding and pole top rescues. Certificates of completion were recently awarded to Harris, Cole and Blackman.
Raymond Wiggins has been promoted to Manager of Safety at Southern Pine. Wiggins recently completed an intensive program of study in electric utility safety and loss control.
The Loss Control Internship Certification is a series of workshops offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in conjunction with The National Utility Safety Education Association.
The program requires participants to complete a rigorous series of seminars and test, a detailed project course and a 30-hour OSHA course.
The program is designed to instruct participants in many areas related to electric utility safety.
One of the goals of a Certified Loss Control Professional is to ensure a safe work environment for utility workers and the public in general.
Avoiding workplace accidents avoids downtime and can ultimately help keep utility rates lower. Graduates of the program must maintain their certificate by attending courses each year to stay on top of the many changes in the industry.
The NRECA/NUTSEA Loss Control Internship earned by Wiggins is one of the most exclusive educational programs in the nation for loss control professionals.
Melanie Harrison has been promoted to Manager of Commun-ications. Harrison is one of only 300 communications professionals nationwide to have received the coveted Certified Cooperative Communi-cator (CCC) designation which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a specific professional level of excellence in mass communication and marketing communication.
The program is strictly voluntary and must be completed on the candidate's own time within a 24-month period.
Candidates must complete and submit a portfolio of their recently completed and publicly published works.
Each entry must be accompanied by a detailed Portfolio Form describing the overall communication plan of their business; how this work fits into that plan; the target audiences; specific objectives of the project; and how success of the project was measured.
A panel of industry experts, each a CCC and trained in portfolio evaluation, judge the candidate's portfolio.
The participant must also complete an intensive course of study pertaining to the many facets of the electric industry, including finance, engineering, history, communication and marketing. Numerous books, case studies and industry professional articles must also be read and evaluated by the candidate.
After successfully completing the rigorous course of study and passing the portfolio evaluation, the candidate must sit for a four-hour certification exam administered twice a year under the careful supervision of a proctor from a national educational consulting firm.
Once a candidate receives the CCC credential, they must abide by a strict code of conduct, remain in good standing, and complete approved continuing educational units each year.
Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative®, is a distribution cooperative that serves over 20,000 accounts in portions of Baldwin, Conecuh, Covington, Escambia and Monroe counties in Alabama.
The co-op is headquartered in Brewton, with district offices in Atmore, Frisco City and Evergreen.
Headquarter offices are located on U.S. 31 South, also known as South Boulevard just south of Brewton.