A Word from Our CEO
October is Co-op Month
It is National Co-op Month, the time that cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique.
Electric cooperatives are committed to providing members with safe, reliable and affordable electricity, but there’s more to it than that. We’re local, and that means we care about our community. This is why we participate in programs such as the Youth Tour to Washington, the Making Accidents Disappear magic show to promote electrical safety, the annual Energy Efficiency Makeover, as well as other community programs. Craighead Electric is proud to be part of America’s cooperative network, which includes more than 47,000 cooperative businesses.
At the heart of the co-op business model are seven cooperative principles set us apart from other businesses:
- Voluntary and open membership.
- Democratic member control.
- Member’s economic participation.
- Autonomy and independence.
- Education, training and information.
- Cooperation among cooperatives.
- Concern for community.
In Arkansas, electric co-ops provide power for about 500,000 homes, businesses and farms in Arkansas. Craighead Electric is one of 17 electric distribution co-ops in Arkansas that provide retail power to their members. These distribution co-ops own a generation and transmission cooperative — Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) in Little Rock — that provides wholesale power for the state’s co-op members and a diversified service co-op — Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (AECI) in Little Rock — that provides electrical equipment, right-of-way and construction services, as well as communications support, which includes the publication of Arkansas Living magazine. In addition, AECI provides employee and director training, and governmental affairs support.
Other co-op businesses thrive in our state, too, and cover such areas as telecommunications, farm supplies, groceries, agriculture healthcare, housing, credit unions, education, daycare and more.
Nationwide, about 900 electric co-ops provide service to about 42 million members in 47 states. This month is a great time to remember how the nation’s electric co-ops were formed in the 1930s to supply electricity to the nation’s rural areas; a challenge that big utilities weren’t interested in tackling. So, the men and women of rural America banded together and made it happen. And that’s why we celebrate in October. We celebrate the power of working together for the common good and bettering the quality of life for our friends and neighbors.