A publication of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives

Powerful Careers
Home | Powerful Careers | Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

Electric co-ops connect with Future Farmers of America students at career expo

August 2023

Rachael Freeman and Jim Robertson from the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives speak with students about potential careers at electric cooperatives. Photo Courtesy of Logan Miller Photography

by Jim Robertson, Staff Writer

Future farmers, lawyers, mechanics, veterinarians and even some aspiring lineworkers visited with representatives from 40 organizations promoting a variety of career options at the Career & Opportunity Expo preceding the Virginia FFA State Convention on June 22.

For the second straight year, the electric cooperatives of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware supported the event, held this year at Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Ballroom of the Squires Student Center. Representatives visited with attendees throughout the afternoon and enjoyed many great conversations with exceptional young men and women. A total of more than 1,200 students, educators and parents attended the expo.

Students were encouraged to pursue meaningful and powerful careers with their local electric cooperatives. With more than 8,000 electric cooperative job openings expected in the coming years nationally—greater than 400inVirginia, Maryland and Delaware—now is a great time to consider joining the cooperative family. An estimated 22,000 retirements are expected to take place over the next several years, with more than 1,100 of those affecting the Delmarva region.

Electric cooperatives play host to a variety of career opportunities, including accountants, network administrators, field engineers, GIS technicians, foresters, energy advisers, public relations specialists, drone pilots and more.

Event organizer and FFA Foundation Director Jennifer Armstrong explains that the purpose is not only to inform students of the many career paths available, but to also encourage them to practice having conversations with professionals and exhibit good manners in the process. “For this being just the second year for this event, it’s gained such momentum,” she says. “Our exhibitors love the one-on-one interaction with members, and it really opens up these young minds to the diverse options that exist in both education and career through this organization.”

Other participating organizations included Farm Bureau, Rockingham Cooperative, Southern States, Farm Credit and more. Electric cooperatives are committed to supporting valuable programs like FFA and look forward to opportunities to engage with students about choosing a promising career path. Stay up to date on powerful careers locally and nationally atvmdaec.com/powerful careers. Contact your local electric cooperative about available internships or job shadowing opportunities.

Photo: Rachael Freeman and Jim Robertson from the Virginia, Maryland & DelawareAssociation of Electric Cooperatives visit with students about careers at electric cooperatives

For more, visit vmdaec.com/powerfulcareers