CEO Message – April 2022

Investing in you!

Les MorelandAt Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC), we believe the greatest investments we make with our time and money are those that benefit the communities we serve. We believe investing in people with our resources produces the greatest return possible.

Economic development initiatives like the Geneva Regional Career Technical Center have produced a stronger workforce, leading to a stronger economy and a better quality of life. We’ll soon see more when a manufacturer relocates its operations to the speculative manufacturing facility we partnered with PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and the Geneva County Commission to develop.

We’re excited when we can make investments like these into the community, and we’ll make another one this month. For the second consecutive year, WEC is conducting its own version of the Youth Tour program, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the Montgomery and Washington, D.C., events.

For decades, Youth Tour has educated high school juniors about America’s history and the role electric cooperatives played in it. It is important to know where you have been so you can better determine where you are going. We believe the story of electric cooperatives also helps the next generation realize how important teamwork is. Without it, many areas of this nation would still be without power.

Through our event, area high school juniors will get some great insight into our state and federal government from discussions they’ll have with our local representatives. We’ll also provide leadership development opportunities and a $1,500 scholarship that will help them as they further their educational and occupational aspirations.
Elsewhere, we are proud that our Operation Round Up Charitable Foundation is once again offering many scholarships to high school seniors. In a typical year, the foundation awards more than 20 of these scholarships, helping students obtain more education without going into more debt. This provides them with a better financial footing once they begin their careers. Deadline to apply is April 18. All those who are interested should visit our website.

We cannot thank our members enough for voluntarily rounding up their monthly power bills to the next dollar. Without those funds, these scholarships would not be possible. Nor would our Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass program exist. We’re proud to honor those who do good in our community and hope their stories — some of which you will see in our May issue — inspire others to improve the area in which they live.

We hope to do much more in the future to shape this region into an even better place to call home.
This year, we are conducting our first Operation Round Up Golf Tournament. It will be on Sept. 8 at the Highland Oaks Golf Course. The funds raised from this event will lead to the disbursement of more emergency grants and larger investments in organizations like schools, hospitals and first responder agencies. You can read about one of these grants, a donation to the Columbia Police Department, in this magazine.
For more information about the tournament, email Bethany Retherford.

We were founded almost 83 years ago as an investment in our region. We’re proud to continue that legacy today through these programs and more. Thank you for helping us in that journey.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative