Sometimes an opportunity falls into your lap when you least expect it. That was the case for Herb Porter.
Porter, a former boilermaker/welder, was part of the construction team that began building Laramie River Station in the late ‘70s. As he watched the plant emerge, it became clear that he wanted to be a part of it; he wanted to be a co-op man.
Almost 33 years have passed since Porter joined Basin Electric, and he has no doubt it was the right move.
“I passed up multiple opportunities to work elsewhere over the years, but stuck it out with Basin and it has paid off very well,” says Porter, now a maintenance planner/scheduler at the cooperative’s Dry Fork Station.
Porter embraced the new chapter in his career, and he’s adapted well at Dry Fork.
Grow in a secure cooperative; enjoy great benefits
Porter loves the security his job provides, which is much different than what he had in his construction days.
“Instead of moving around the country, living in hotels and trailer parks, I decided to get a steady job where I could build a family life,” Porter says.
For Porter, Basin Electric was a doorway to quality family time, a steady income and great co-workers.
He started as a laborer in the coal yard, and worked his way into a mechanical maintenance apprenticeship program. Upon graduating, he became a journeyman power plant mechanic/welder, a title he held for more than 20 years, before entering his current position.
“The advancement opportunities at Basin Electric are great,” Porter says. “These days, ambitious young employees can quickly advance their skills.”
For example, Porter’s son, Jeremy, recently left an eight-year stint in the oil fields of western North Dakota for a job at Laramie River. The new hire couldn’t be happier and is looking forward to enjoying the same security he has come to learn through his father.
Within only six months of working for the cooperative, Jeremy was promoted from laborer to auxiliary operator for the facility’s scrubbers. His father is very proud.
The possibilities are truly endless at Basin Electric.
“There’s opportunity, especially right now, for young applicants to get into a cooperative that has a lot to offer in training and security,” Porter says.
He adds that Basin Electric offers above-average benefits, such as a pension plan and a 401(k).
“Having both is almost unheard of in America today,” he says.
Challenge yourself; embrace a rewarding career
For Porter, there’s never a dull moment at Dry Fork. When something breaks down, he immediately gets started researching and planning tasks for maintenance crews. If a part is needed, he often has it flown in overnight.
“The scope of my day changes by the minute, which makes for a very challenging and rewarding experience by the end of each day. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Porter says.
As Porter has come to learn, Basin Electric is a place to challenge yourself; to grow in your professional life, as well as enhance your personal life.
“Basin is still the best gig around,” he says.