Larry Wilson marks 25 years at Thomas Hill Energy Center
Larry Wilson, Macon, started his Associated Electric Cooperative career 25 years ago as part of the Thomas Hill mine revegetation crew. He celebrates his service anniversary as a member of the coal yard crew.
When Wilson started at Thomas Hill he worked to reseed and level out ditches as part of mine reclamation. He moved to auxiliary operator in 2000 and had a short stint as a mechanic in 2005, but he missed working outside. So, he jumped at the chance when a position in the coal yard opened up in 2002.
His move into the plant provided education on how electricity is generated. “I had no idea how energy was made, the process,” said Wilson. Working every shift during his 25 years, Larry also learned about the variety and volume of jobs required to produce electricity. “I have a lot of respect for the back shifts,” he said. “They’re good people. You don’t know what it’s like until you’ve done it, and I’ve done almost all of them.”
Improvements in safety stand out among his memories of what has changed. “We focus on awareness of what’s around us, how equipment can get in tight positions, how dust can start a fire,” he said. He appreciates the role of seasoned veterans in always being willing to share their knowledge and help newer employees.
Outside in the coal yard, Wilson enjoys all the equipment, especially the dozers. He said the equipment has improved over the years from manual transmission and open stations to enclosed cabins with air conditioning. The equipment runs smoother and quieter than early models.
Working in a tight-knit group like the coal yard is something he wants to continue because the employees have a lot in common. “We all enjoy being outside and big equipment,” he said.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An equal opportunity employer and provider/disability/veteran