Last month, we took a look at cooperative principles 1-3. This month, we take a look at the remaining four principles.
Autonomy and Independence
The fourth principle, Autonomy and Independence, means that the co-op operates in an autonomous way that is solely directed and guided by its members, reflecting the values and needs of our local community. This means the co-op is not being influenced by remote or external leaders or shareholders. Instead, the co-op is governed by the local members it serves.
Education and Training
The fifth principle, Education and Training, focuses on enhancing the knowledge of co-op employees and board members, which enables them to contribute to the development of the co-op.
By investing in continuing education for our employees and board members, our co-op is making a commitment not only to individual professional and personal growth but to the future of the co-op through the high quality of service we delivered and our members expect. It’s a win-win situation.
We also strive to educate our members (that’s you!) and the public about the mission and operations of the co-op. In fact, that’s why you receive this magazine every month: so we can share the latest co-op news and updates including energy efficiency and safety tips.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperation Among Cooperatives is the sixth principle. This principle promotes cooperative collaboration to collectively address bigger challenges. While this principle applies to all types of cooperatives, it is especially relevant in the energy industry. In our case, we put this principle in natural storms and disasters that cause widespread power outages. When this happens, we call on nearby co-ops to come to our aid and assist with restoration efforts. We extend the same help to our co-op neighbors when they need us. I can’t think of a better example of cooperation among cooperatives.
In addition, because we are part of a national electric co-op network, we can connect and collaborate with other electric co-ops to tackle industry-related challenges, like cybersecurity and an everchanging energy landscape.
Concern for Community
The seventh principle, Concern for Community, is essential to who we are as cooperatives. We serve our communities, not only by being an essential service but by helping to power our local economy. Whether through economic development, volunteerism or donations to local causes, we invest in our community because it’s our home too. We took part in Cooperative Community Day last month at Watch Us Farm. This month we are sponsoring a food drive and serving at the Shalom House. Please drop off paper products and canned food items at the REMC office if you would like to participate with us.
I think you’ll find that most cooperatives bring good people together to make good things happen with the community. We hope you feel that way about us, your local electric co-op.
On behalf of everyone at Boone REMC, we’re thankful for your membership, and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.