NDAREC recognizes graduates of apprenticeship program

The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) is proud to announce the graduation of 14 lineworkers from its apprenticeship program. Graduates were recognized during a awards ceremony, which was held in conjunction with NDAREC’s Apprenticeship, Training and Safety Conference, Jan. 12.

“On behalf of NDAREC, I’d like to congratulate this year’s graduates,” says NDAREC Safety Services Director Christy Roemmich. “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.” 

The following lineworkers graduated from the apprenticeship program in 2022: 

  • Steven Vilipski, Central Power Electric Cooperative

  • Kirk Praus, KEM Electric Cooperative

  • Brody Vose, McKenzie Electric Cooperative

  • Hunter Bowker, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative

  • Jordan Carpenter, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative

  • Alex Larson, Nodak Electric Cooperative

  • Courtney LaRocque, North Central Electric Cooperative

  • Brody Moum, North Central Electric Cooperative

  • Laine Hoyt, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative

  • Brett Obritsch, Slope Electric Cooperative

  • Cade Bright, Verendrye Electric Cooperative

  • Nathan Engelhart, Verendrye Electric Cooperative

  • Kolter Schell, Verendrye Electric Cooperative

  • Scott Moe II, 3 C Construction

Jordan Carpenter, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC), received this year's Outstanding Apprentice Award, which is sponsored by the North Dakota Managers Association. Carpenter was the highest-ranking apprentice in both related studies and on-the-job performance. MWEC Operations Manager Matt Glueckert believes Carpenter will be a leader in his cooperative and community for years to come.

"His pursuit of knowledge is unwavering and relentless.  He is willing to help anyone in need of assistance and constantly works to improve himself professionally.  Jordan’s work ethic and positive energy are contagious and regardless of how difficult the situation he can find a way to keep a positive attitude. He has grown to become a great lineman and we are proud to have him on our crew,” Glueckert says.

Over the past 64 years, more than 700 people have completed the program. To graduate, apprentices must complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and more than 400 hours of study.

North Dakota electric cooperatives recognized for 2022 safety achievements

The North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) is proud to recognize three individuals and 11 North Dakota electric cooperatives for safety achievements in 2022. Safety is a top priority in the electric utility industry, and NDAREC applauds its members for their accomplishments.

On Jan. 12, NDAREC held an awards ceremony and presented the following awards:

  • The Life Saver Award recognizes heroic actions that contribute to life saving efforts of another person. This year, NDAREC presented the award to Kevin Voeller and Pat Gingles, Verendrye Electric Cooperative.  

  • The Stepping Up for Safety Award recognizes an outstanding safety advocate who inspires all employees to commit to safe job performance and who has greatly influenced their cooperative’s safety culture. The recipient of this year’s award is Todd Melland, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative.

  • The Certificate of Safety Achievement recognizes successful participants of the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP), a national safety program that encourages electric cooperatives to achieve and maintain high safety standards for the protection of employees and the community. The following cooperatives earned this certificate for 2022:

    • Capital Electric Cooperative

    • KEM Electric Cooperative

    • Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative

    • Nodak Electric Cooperative

    • North Central Electric Cooperative

    • Roughrider Electric Cooperative

  • The Safety Performance Award is presented to cooperatives with zero recordable injuries for one year. Cooperatives and contractors that achieved this safety initiative between Dec. 1, 2021, and Nov. 30, 2022, are:

    • Capital Electric Cooperative

    • Cavalier Rural Electric Cooperative

    • Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative

    • KEM Electric Cooperative

    • McLean Electric Cooperative

    • Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative

    • Slope Electric Cooperative

Through its safety awards and recognition program, NDAREC has recognized outstanding safety performance for 59 years.