HR, Admin Pros Hone Skills at Austin Conference

May 12, 2017

Back-to-back Texas Electric Cooperative conferences united electric cooperative human resources and administrative professionals for panel discussions, expert speakers and safety demonstrations.

Human resources staff members met May 9–10 for the TEC HR Conference in Austin, aimed at helping attendees enhance co-ops’ culture and morale, better administer benefits, improve recruiting and retain talent.

Michelle Rostom, director of workforce effectiveness at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, focused on the importance of hiring veterans. She said small measures such as a dedicated parking space for veterans can help increase morale and retention. Rostom encouraged co-ops to join Veterans in Energy, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy to find and hire veteran talent. “The co-ops say, ‘After I joined the program, our intent on hiring veterans accelerated,’ ” Rostom said.

At the TEC Administrative Professionals Conference, held May 10–12, in Austin, co-op administrators discussed event planning, project management and communications, and engaged with a cybersecurity expert from the FBI and safety professionals.

Derly Carrizales, safety coordinator with Medina EC, gave a power line safety demonstration using a unit the co-op built on a trailer. To further increase safety, Lonnie Mendez and Amanda Martinez, of Team Chip Tae Kwon Do, showed how common objects carried in purses and bags can be used to ward off attackers.

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