To grow a workforce: A tribute and goodbye to our summer interns

Family Night interns

Summer interns (from left) Amanda Leintz, Danielle Vallie, Anthony Hellman, Casey Neameyer and Dane Fischer gather together during Basin Electric’s Family Night in Bismarck, ND.

As a supervisor, saying goodbye to someone you’ve mentored is rarely easy. Basin Electric’s facilities maintenance staff can attest to that.

The Headquarters facilities maintenance group recently bid farewell to six college-aged summer interns who not only did exceptional work for Basin Electric, they quickly became part of the cooperative family.

Meet Basin Electric’s summer 2015 interns!

Dane Fischer

Dane Fischer, son of Pius Fischer, Basin Electric manager of electrical engineering.

Amanda Leintz

Amanda Leintz, daughter of Jill Leintz, Basin Electric support center representative III.

Anthony Hellman

Anthony Hellman, son of Lanette Hellman, Basin Electric tax analyst II.

Danielle Vallie

Danielle Vallie, daughter of Jeanelle Vallie, Basin Electric enterprise database administrator III.

Morgan Wray

Morgan Wray, son of Martin Wray, Basin Electric energy system administrator II.

Casey Neameyer

Casey Neameyer, son of Kelly Neameyer, Dakota Gas process operations field technician.

“Our group has always been fortunate to have the honor of working with skilled, respectful summer interns,” says Dan Job, Basin Electric facilities director. “Like others in the past, these students will be greatly missed because they believed in helping the cooperative through every project they tackled.”

The 2015 summer internship program was different than previous years. Job wanted the students to rotate their lawn, cleaning and cafeteria duties, to gain broader work experience.

“It never hurts to gain a little knowledge of cooking, cleaning and mowing,” says Bruce Ellwein, Basin Electric maintenance lead. “The things these students learned here are useful later in life.”

Kyle Opp, Basin Electric maintenance coordinator, handed out daily assignments to the interns, who he says are very bright.

“We hardly had to guide these students,” Opp says. “They became very versatile in different lines of work, which is what we wanted for them.”

Missy Munson, Basin Electric administrative coordinator, was impressed with how polite and driven the interns were.

“They did everything we asked. They asked questions and looked for more to do,” Munson says.

Munson recalls a day when one of the interns asked for permission to help another employee move to a different office. Each intern went above and beyond to get jobs done over the summer, and their cheerful attitudes became contagious with many full-time employees.

Whether it was stopping a lawn mower to let pedestrians pass safely, serving up a hot meal or emptying office garbage cans, the young men and women took pride in their work.

Ellwein smiles when thinking of the interns, who typically have parents employed by the cooperative.

“You can tell the kids are a lot like their parents,” he says. “You can just see it, not only in their appearance, but their strong work ethic.”

While it’s been tough for many at Basin Electric to see the summer interns leave for school, the facilities maintenance group is glad the students are walking away with valuable skills they can use for the rest of their lives.

“It’s not just about giving interns different jobs here,” Munson says. “It’s Basin Electric’s job to teach them. We’re helping grow the next workforce.”

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