Manager's Message: Cooperation - Commitment - Communities
National Cooperative Month is celebrated annually in October across the U.S., allowing us to reflect on our shared principles.
One principle is our concern for community, where our member-owners live and work. From providing technology in classrooms to supporting new jobs and industry, we are committed to improving our member-owners’ quality of life through being involved in our communities.
The Tri-County Electric People Fund, which returns members’ spare change to families and organizations in need, is one great example. Moreover, our employees are encouraged to look outward for ways to get involved, through sports, schools, and social groups.
Another co-op principle is cooperation among cooperatives. We serve our member-owners most effectively, and strengthen the co-op movement, by working together.
People are often amazed by the extent of the cooperative network:
- We are insured by a cooperative insurance company, which is a leader in creating a culture of safety for our employees. It’s good business for them, but their concern is for the people they’re reaching.
- The software for our computer systems, from desktops to mobile apps, comes from an information systems cooperative, one of several that’s been formed by electric co-ops over the years.
- Our after-hours call center and dispatch service are supplied by a co-op that started out as several small co-ops looking for an effective and economic way to provide a 24-hour response for their members.
- We purchase many of our materials – utility poles, transformers, wire, and more – from a rural electric supply cooperative.
- We even bank with two different cooperatives – including the Portland Federal Credit Union right down the road from our office (we, in turn, serve a couple of their branch offices.)
- We purchase electric power from a cooperative that we own along with four other Michigan electric co-ops. Like all the other co-ops mentioned above, and like HomeWorks, Wolverine Power Cooperative is operated for the benefit of its member-owners, not for profit.
- We have mutual aid agreements to help each other out in times of need – say, for instance, a big storm swipes across lower Michigan. Co-ops to the north and south of us may not be affected and would have line crews and equipment to spare to help us rebuild and restore power.
As one of the owners of each of these co-ops, we know that we have a say in their operations. When we elect a board member to represent us, receive capital credits, or are consulted on our future needs, the feeling of being a co-op owner can’t be beat.
We hope you feel the same way about HomeWorks Tri-County!