When the lights go out, so do they. How often do you #thankalineman?

Congress has not set a specific annual date to honor linemen. California’s State Assembly declared July 10 Journeyman Lineman Appreciation Day last year; they may do so again. The Edison Electric Institute (investor-owned utility association) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers celebrate linemen on March 31. To help with planning, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association leaders set aside the second Monday of April to honor linemen. This year it falls on April 13, 2015.

No matter which day works for you, there are several great ways to #thankalineman:

Surprise Snacks

Have volunteers pack up snacks for linemen to take on the road. Ask every member services representatives to write a thank you card (more if you have fewer MSRs than linemen), and add a card to each bag. Place the surprise snacks either in each utility truck EARLY in the morning or place them in your utility’s linemen office/meeting space.

  • Supplies: Small brown paper lunch bags, snack variety packs (found at Walmart, grocery stores), candy bars, and either bottled water or an energy drink. Support other types of co-ops by including treats such as Blue Diamond almonds or Sun-Maid Raisins.
  • Tip: Although an apple might be healthy, bear in mind linemen often eat on the run.

Biscuits & Banners

Nothing says ‘Thank You’ quite like a warm biscuit. Treat your linemen to breakfast and hang a ‘Thank You’ banner on your warehouse dock. Keep the banner up for at least a week.

  • Supplies: Call ahead to your local biscuit supplier (or a chain such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box). Order a biscuit for each of your linemen. You may want to order enough to feed other operations and engineering staff, too.
  • Tip: Get a picture of your CEO/General Manager hanging up the banner to use in your newsletter.

Need More Inspiration?

  • Work with your local elementary or middle school to arrange a visit from a crew.
  • Ask local school children to send ‘Thank You’ cards to the linemen, then display them in your lobby for the rest of the month.
  • Work with your local parks and recreation department to organize a Touch a Truck Day.
  • If you’re a member of NRECA, more support materials are available on the Cooperative website (password protected).

Social Support

Our awesome graphic designer, Duy Mai, created a Facebook cover photo and timeline photo to celebrate:

thank you for braving wind, rain, sleet, snow all to maintain a steady power flow, appreciation for linemen