CEO Message – February 2021

Posted: January 27, 2021, 12:00 am

Brighter days lie ahead

Les MorelandWe celebrate relationships in February. Valentine’s Day allows us to honor the ones we love, while the lesser-known National Make a Friend Day encourages new relationships. We can even commemorate our sidekicks with National Love Your Pet Day during the shortest month of the year.

At Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC), we understand the value of relationships. We love to partner with various groups, individuals, and our members to improve our region. This work results in charitable contributions, investments in the future through scholarships, and the formation of numerous economic development pacts.

Those efforts have paid dividends throughout the years. Dozens of area youth have furthered their educations through Operation Round Up (ORU), Electric Cooperative Foundation, and Youth Tour scholarships. Numerous charities and other great causes have continued their work thanks to ORU donations like those made with the Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass program. Two of those hero honorees are highlighted later in this Alabama Living.

On the economic front, convening Grow Dothan meetings at our corporate headquarters in Hartford led to the creation of the Geneva Regional Career Technical Center, or G-Tech. Students get the chance to identify their life paths through G-Tech programs, and local industries are gaining valuable skilled workers as soon as these students graduate high school.

This major win wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from our education, economic and legislative partners. Now, WEC is pleased to report that we are on the cusp of another significant victory.

Crews continue to work on a speculative manufacturing facility in the Geneva County Industrial Park in Hartford. The building should be completed by the end of February.

In August, more than 20 local and regional officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for a new speculative manufacturing facility at the Geneva County Industrial Park. WEC; our power provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative; and the Geneva County Commission funded the project in hopes of attracting more industry.

Other groups and organizations have come along to assist with the project, as the Houston County Commission recently voted to include Geneva County in a joint industrial development authority it initiated years ago. Adding Geneva County to the group allows entities in Houston and Henry counties to support projects in Geneva County with money and manpower — and vice versa.

At least two companies located in other states have expressed significant interest in relocating to the building. By the time this column publishes, one may have even signed the lease.

This project underscores the value of relationships, and you will experience that theme as you read the rest of this magazine. WEC loves to sponsor Wiregrass Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) initiatives like LEAD Wiregrass, which shapes future community and industry leaders. Wiregrass RC&D is a valuable partner in developing our communities and our region.

While 2020 provided us with significant challenges, we believe good things are on the horizon. As we emerge from the dark hours of winter, we firmly believe brighter days lie ahead for the Wiregrass region.

Thank you for being a part of it.

Les Moreland
CEO Wiregrass Electric Cooperative