MEUW Weekly :: Jan. 19, 2021

MEUW members advocate for COVID vaccine to be made available to essential frontline utility workers: From the time the first coronavirus vaccine was approved, electric utility trade associations – including the American Public Power Association (APPA) and MEUW – have been advocating that frontline utility workers be among those to receive appropriate prioritization in Category 1B at both the federal and state levels.

Here in Wisconsin, the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s (SDMAC) Vaccine Distribution Subcommittee has advanced its final recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine Priority Group 1B. Currently, frontline and operations critical utility workers are not included in the 1B group.

Last week, MEUW provided a template member utilities could use to submit public comments to the Subcommittee as it weighs who’s in and who’s out in Phase 1B prioritization. The time differential for receiving the COVID vaccine in Group 1B vs. Group 1C could be months.

In the comments, MEUW members reminded the Subcommittee about utility workers’ vital role. A role that’s critical to not only the state’s economy but also in supporting the healthcare sector’s life-saving treatments, keeping people connected as they continue to socially distance and work from home, and more. We appreciate the support of many MEUW members who provided public comments. MEUW again collaborated with WPPI Energy and submitted comments to the Subcommittee last week.

The SDMAC Subcommittee is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, Jan. 20 to review and address public comment, and ultimately advance the recommendation to the full SDMAC on Thursday, Jan. 21. As decisions are made, we will provide additional updates about the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Remind your friends about MEUW scholarship: MEUW provides its “Powering Futures” Scholarship to support students pursuing careers in electrical power distribution. Applications for this year’s awards will be accepted until Jan. 28, 2021. To be eligible, students must reside in a Wisconsin public power community and must be pursuing post-secondary education to become a Field Service Technician, Groundman, Lineman Apprentice, Electric Meter Technician, Substation Electrician Apprentice or Utility Technician.

For more information and to review the complete criteria, visit

Communication, Time and Project Management training is Feb. 17:  The MEUW Management Training Program is kicking off another two-year rotation helping to educate municipal electric utility employees about the fundamentals of management. Session A, which deals with topics related to Communication, Time and Project Management, is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Wisconsin Dells. (Note: Personal interaction is an important element of MEUW’s Management Training Program, so the training will be exclusively in person without the option for virtual attendance. And because safety remains our top priority, attendees will be required to wear face coverings and follow social-distancing guidelines.)

Darla Leick, an experienced educator and business professional, will lead the day-long session that teaches participants how to track projects to assure nothing falls through the cracks as well as how to prepare for effective/efficient meetings and proven ideas for knowing what information to share with whom and when. Leick founded and designed communication programs based on her teaching experience and business communication research. Her sessions are presented using activities to reinforce concepts, to immediately apply the material, and to assist in recall.

MEUW’s Management Training Program provides education for existing managers, mid-level managers and those aspiring to management. Participants may start at any point in the six-session (A-F) program. MEUW provides awards to all those who complete the program.

For more information or to register, click here.

Excavation Competent Person Webinar planned for March 2: MEUW is hosting an Excavation Competent Person online training on Tuesday, March 2. The webinar will be conducted by Tim Palet, an instructor who brings decades of knowledge and experience to this training. Upon completion, attendees will be certified as Competent Persons according to OSHA standards. This “virtual” workshop is a repeat of one offered in person last summer. The complete agenda and registration information is available here.

Send us your job postings: Remember that MEUW welcomes the opportunity to help you attract qualified applicants to your utility’s job openings. In fact, we know our “Employment” page is among the most visited pages on!

Send your open job postings to whenever they become available. We will work to post your position in a timely fashion and also publicize it in the next issue of Live Lines (if the position is not filled before its monthly publication date).

Don’t miss the chance to attend “Lineman University Online”: We’re hosting the “Lineman University” session as an online training this year. The program is filled with a wide variety of topics, and there’s certain to be a lot of important learning and information sharing. Lineman U is open to all MEUW members and is especially targeted for lineworkers to help educate them on timely topics and trends in the electric industry.

The online training is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2 and will begin at 8 a.m. There are a total of seven presentations planned, with breaks between each speaker and a 30-minute break for lunch. The complete agenda can be found here. Cost is $95 per person. The registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 29. 

Make plans to join your fellow utility workers for an event you won’t want to miss — full details coming soon!