CEO Message — December 2021

Championing and cheering on development

Les MorelandOur forefathers formed Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) in 1939 to dramatically improve our rural area.

Many of them had witnessed what electricity delivered to the home meant for the quality of life for people living in large cities. They had caught glimpses of how much more productive farms and businesses could be when things were powered by electricity, not just with human hands or on the backs of animals.

These WEC founders were the first real economic developers active in our area since perhaps the arrival of railroad men. They understood that with a better quality of life and more productivity, the Wiregrass could grow into a prosperous region.

We haven’t forgotten those roots. That is why you will see WEC at the forefront of several key projects that promise to shape the future of our region.

The Grow Dothan meetings conducted at our headquarters have led to the creation of the Geneva Regional Career Technical Center, known as G-Tech, which prepares high school students for a variety of great careers.

We’re leading the charge for an expanded Alabama Highway 52, a project currently underway, and an expanded Alabama Highway 167, which has promise.

We’re close to announcing a tenant for the speculative manufacturing facility that was built near our headquarters through our partnership with PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and the Geneva County Commission. The area’s job market will dramatically improve when this tenant is fully operational here.

While we’re proud to champion business development efforts, we are also excited to highlight other key economic victories within our region. This edition shares one of them — the RockaDock watercraft event that occurs every September in Geneva.

What started as a gathering of a man, some of his friends, and a few social media followers blossomed into an event that attracts hundreds to the small Geneva County city each September. This year, the business community warmly embraced the visitors, providing discounts on food and other essentials. The city government also embraced the gathering, providing extra services to ensure kayakers and paddleboarders had an enjoyable stay. We foresee only more growth from this event in the future, leading to a big boost for area businesses.

We also applaud the leadership of the city of Geneva and the Greater Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce for recently launching a new endeavor called Two Rivers, One Heart.

This community pride initiative seeks to unite businesses, human services providers, and government officials in improving the quality of life and the business climate in Geneva County.

As a cohesive marketing and educational effort, it will highlight the successes and opportunities of Geneva and surrounding towns. In turn, Two Rivers, One Heart aims to make the area more attractive to businesses and people who are considering relocating to a rural setting.

We understand the value in partnerships. Regionalism can be a rural area’s greatest strength, as we have seen with the development of G-Tech and our speculative manufacturing facility. Regionalism has its roots in cooperative efforts, which we understand well.

We thank our membership for their support of our economic development efforts. We couldn’t do any of this without our partnership with you. Thank you for keeping the ideals of our forefathers alive. Behind those guiding principles, we will continue to prosper.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative