- :: Norris Public Power District
Rock Creek Station, Fairbury


Rural Electric Systems are…Working for Nebraska



Planning for a Workforce Transition

Bruce Vitosh--General Manager and CEO

Miscelaneous > Bruce-  Vitosh.jpg

The 2014 Financial Report is included in the March-April issue of the Norris Electric News.  The Statement of Net Position lists the financial assets that are held by the District.  However, the District’s most valuable assets are not listed on this Statement, which are the people that are dedicated to providing power to our customers.

Over the last six months, 115 years of experience left the District with the retirements of three very dedicated linemen. Kenny Parks, Steve Fielder and Jack Barry provided excellent customer service over the years and were extremely familiar with District customers and electric facilities in the areas that they served.

The retirement of long term employees is bittersweet. There is a void left with all of their critical knowledge leaving the organization. However, I am extremely happy for these gentlemen as they retired in good health, are enjoying time with their families and friends and spending time doing their favorite hobbies.

Many rural public power districts and cooperatives across the country struggle to find qualified and talented replacements for retiring employees. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is a national service organization dedicated to representing the national interests of public power districts and electric utility cooperatives. The NRECA has 900 member organizations across 47 states. These organizations provide electric service to 42 million customers, primarily in rural areas. It takes 70,000 employees to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to these customers. The NRECA is projecting that 14,000 jobs, or 20% of this workforce, will need to be filled over the next five years due to retirements.

The experienced and dedicated employees of the District mirror the national numbers. The District has 17 employees, or 23% of our workforce, who are eligible for retirement over the next five years. The average age of a District employee is 45 years old, and the average years of service for a District employee is 17 years. This provides excellent internal opportunities for employees to assume new roles within the organization. The District has individual employee development plans that provide employees with the opportunity to share their career goals and aspirations. Educational and cross-training plans are identified to assist employees in reaching their ambitions as openings occur throughout their career at the District.

We have been very fortunate at the District to be able to select from a talented pool of applicants when we have job openings. When applicants are asked, why are you interested in a position at the District? Overwhelmingly, they tell us that they have heard many positive things about the District and that we provide excellent career opportunities. In addition, we are fortunate to be located in southeastern Nebraska since some applicants are interested in living in or near Lincoln.

I am confident in saying that Kenny, Steve and Jack look at weather forecasts and the prediction of approaching storms much differently today.  It is comforting to them knowing that others whom they have mentored over the years and the next generation of linemen will be responsible for providing power to our customers 24 hours per day, seven days per week no matter the weather conditions.

Thank you Kenny, Steve and Jack for a job well done.  You deserve a healthy, long-lasting and enjoyable retirement.

Recruiting Our Future Workforce

Electrical Energy and Safety Education Program:

Complimentary educational opportunity utilizing “hands-on” activities to all schools located in the District’s service territory for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Youth Energy Leadership Camp:

Available to students in the 9th, 10th or 11th grade

Rural Electric Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.:

Participants are chosen at Youth Energy Leadership Camp

Utility Lineman Scholarship:

Norris Public Power District awards one $1,500 Utility Line – Electric Lineman Training Scholarship each year


The District offers a limited number of internships each summer.

Norris Public Power District ©2015