Communication, education and training are vital to cooperatives

 By reading this communication, you’re helping Horry Electric Cooperative fulfill the Fifth Cooperative Principle, “Education, Training, and Information,” one of seven guidelines that govern cooperative operations.

One of your co-op’s primary conduits of education and information is South Carolina Living magazine. Through our local content, which can be found on pages four and five, as well as four other pages in the center of the magazine, we communicate directly with you, our members, on important co-op business like bylaws changes, trustee elections, legislative efforts and general co-op information. We also share energy-saving tips to save you money and safety information that could save your life.

But we don’t stop there. We periodically send you The Current Word via your electric bill;  we have a Facebook fan page; we tweet to you via Twitter and we make use of this blog to get news and information to our members. We even have a YouTube channel with links to the YouTube channels of some of our affiliates in the electric cooperative program.

We also support student education through a variety of programs, including the McGruff Truck Program and our Trouble in Tiny Town safety demonstration. Since the late 50s  we’ve been sending rising high school seniors-to-be to Washington, D.C., for a week every summer as part of the nationally organized  Electric Cooperative Youth Tour. Youth Tour students receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital to visit historic sites, see important governmental buildings, meet lawmakers, and learn how our system of government works.

Our education efforts extend to our employees as well. We encourage and support them in taking courses to improve on-the-job skills through the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, our statewide association and the  National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the Arlington, Va.-based national service organization representing more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts in the United States. We believe well-trained employees are more valuable to the co-op and can give you, our members, with the high quality of service you’ve come to expect and most certainly deserve.

We also sponsor safety seminars for our linemen, field workers and office staff. This education is vital to keeping our workforce safe and reduces costs involved with lost-time accidents.

Keeping you informed – so you can vote for trustees, learn to manage your energy usage, or understand how your co-op employees are working to better serve you – is one of our most important responsibilities.That’s the cooperative difference.

NOTE:  This is the fifth in a series of articles about The Cooperative Difference, which highlights the seven guiding principles of cooperatively owned and operated businesses.

Other educational/information links:

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