Kertz celebrates 35 years with Associated Electric Cooperative
David L. Kertz of Huntsville, a journeyman electrician specialist at Thomas Hill Energy Center, celebrated his 35th anniversary with Associated Electric Cooperative Jan. 9.
He hired on as a general utility first period at the time the plant was staffing its new Unit 3. He had known about the plant since he was 9 when his family moved from St. Genevieve to a farm about four miles south of the plant.
Kertz quickly advanced to auxiliary operator, then assistant scrubber operator before moving into maintenance in 1985. In 1987, he moved to the electrical shop as an electrician first period. Like most coming into the shop, he had little electrical experience but realized it was a valuable trade to learn. By late 1991, he had advanced to his current position as journeyman electrician specialist.
Kertz typically works with another electrician, often doing preventive maintenance tasks or troubleshooting a motor or pump that’s not working properly. He may be called on to help with installations of new equipment, such as running conduit and pulling wire. He’s one of about a dozen electricians who staff the plant nearly 24/7.
The caliber of work was noted when he received Associated’s 2002 Excel Award for Employee of the Year in a Vocational Field, a peer-nominated award. At the time, his nominator praised him as a worker whom supervisors could count on to troubleshoot 110-volt motors and 6,900-volt switchgear and breakers, as well as calibrate relays, keep records and work on turbines and generators. He also has served on a safety subcommittee and is a member of the emergency response team.
A man who believes in hard work and treating others as he wants to be treated, Kertz said, “I like work that’s not monotonous and is challenging, that makes you think and gives you a sense of accomplishment.” His work takes him all over the plant, to the coal yard and even to the plant’s reclaimed mine area.
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.
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