SEC nominated for Electric Cooperative Purpose Award

Published 6:08 am Monday, December 7, 2015

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) is among 14 co-ops nationwide recently nominated for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Electric Cooperative Purpose Award. The Arlington-based trade association, NRECA, represents SEC and more than 900 electric cooperatives across the U.S.

In its first year of existence, the national award recognizes electric cooperatives that work to make outstanding contributions resulting in visible, lasting improvements to the quality of life and the purpose of the cooperative in the community.

The award nomination focuses on SEC’s Day in the Life of a Lineman career exploration program, which seeks to educate local high school juniors and seniors about exciting job opportunities in the line worker industry. Since 2014, approximately 325 students have participated in SEC’s four-hour curriculum.

“Our intentions are to showcase a career alternative to students who are either not seeking, or not ready for, a college education. If we can make a difference in just one student’s life, then we’ve succeeded with our program,” explains Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president & CEO.

SEC is also partnering with Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) and other Virginia co-ops to help create the state’s first Power-Line Worker Training School, set to launch next year at SVCC’s Occupational Technical Center at Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Va.

Classes begin in March, and registration is ongoing.

NRECA presents awards annually to electric cooperatives around the country, in areas including political activism, international aid and community service.

The winner of the Electric Cooperative Purpose Award will be announced at NRECA’s 2016 annual meeting in February in New Orleans.

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) is a not-for-profit, member-owned energy provider that serves over 55,000 homes and businesses in portions of 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. For more information about SEC’s Day in the Life of a Lineman program, go to