It’s been quite a year at White River Valley Electric Cooperative. It started with a challenge from our Board of Directors to take a deep dive into at all budgetary expenditures and cut back as much as we possibly could. Years ago, an early retirement program was offered to help offset payroll costs. For this very reason, we decided to take a look at doing something similar again.
An early retirement program was announced after much consideration. The effected employees were given over a month to decide if it was the proper time for them to move on to their respective next chapters’ or continue with WRVEC. We didn’t foresee so many to capitalize on the opportunity. Thirty employees opted to hang their hats. It left the cooperative with big shoes to fill, but it did gave us a chance to downsize and reorganize. This early retirement program allowed us to reduce costs in several areas across the organization and, between the restructure and necessary staffed positions, we anticipate being at our optimal employee level by the end of January.
Supervision looks different as several departments were combined. In staff positions alone, we are down by approximately 22%. It has put a strain on the remaining group but, by automating some processes and streamlining others, we feel that we can manage well at this level. I have monitored member wait times- office visits, phone queues, and outage restoration. Our new employees are walking alongside the remaining folks to maintain a great level of service. I would like to thank all of our past and present employees, the Board of Directors, and our WRVEC members for making every part of this transition possible.
The Current Times provides an excellent means for communication between the cooperative and its members on all topics ranging from green energy such as solar power, to energy saving tips and incentives, to the basic business and financial aspects of the co-op.