How Basin Electric’s retirement projections present opportunities for the next generation of employees

The Building Cooperative Connections program educates employees from Basin Electric and a participating member cooperative about their roles in their collective mission in providing reliable, affordable power to the member at the end of the line. Participants Lori Leier (left), Basin Electric tax analyst; Jesse Obergfell (middle), Lower Yellowstone journeyman lineman; and Raymond Bell (right), farmer and Lower Yellowstone member spent time with a Basin Electric line crew at a job site.


In the next 10 years, 750 employees – almost one-third of the co-op’s existing workforce – will reach normal retirement age. Of this number, 169 are in supervisory roles.

In just the first few months of 2017, 55 employees have either already retired or expressed their intentions to retire. Couple that with the fact that 132 employees are currently over the age of 62 and can retire at any time.

“We’re anticipating we could see a retirement surge similar to the numbers we saw in 2013,” Diane Paul, senior vice president of Human Resources, says. “Our workforce who were hired in the 1970s and 80s, coinciding with the construction of Antelope Valley Station and Laramie River Station, are now considering finishing their careers with Basin Electric.”

While these numbers may cause alarm, they also represent opportunity.

Opportunity to establish the cooperative philosophy within a new generation. Opportunity to nurture new leaders, and an opportunity for the younger workforce to explore and grow into their leadership potential.

Human Resources has implemented proactive strategies to pass the baton to this next generation.

With the recent launch of two new programs: Building Cooperative Connections (watch the video from a participant’s perspective, and the video from a member manager’s perspective) and BE Leaders, the co-op is fostering the co-op philosophy, while developing employees.

Read about these employee development programs in the March-April 2017 issue of Basin TodayFostering growth and creating connections.

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