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Message for You...

I recently saw an article that showed North Carolina is expected to grow in population in the 2020 census. While this is not a surprise to see that our state is growing, there is an issue that is concerning.  While overall the state will grow, it is expected that much of that population growth will be concentrated in a few counties.  The issue of concern is that it is projected that nearly half (49 out of the 100) of the counties in the state will actually lose population leading up to 2020.

We live and work in an area where we have a responsibility to ensure that our voices are heard. The message that needs to be heard is that we deserve a fair opportunity to participate in the growth within the state.  As a matter of fact, this speaks to one of our core cooperative principles, Concern for Community.  For all of us to prosper in the future, we must have quality jobs available for everyone.  A plentiful and well-educated workforce and appropriate infrastructure (roads, rail, electricity, water and sewer and high speed broadband access) are all necessary to attract businesses.  In this article, I want to speak directly to broadband availability.

Back in April, Lumbee River EMC visited with our elected officials in Washington to discuss the importance of having these essential services available throughout rural North Carolina.  In May, we had the opportunity to sit in with the town of Red Springs to discuss broadband services with representatives from the governor’s office as a part of the Hometown Strong initiative.  Specifically, we talked about our efforts to bring broadband to some unserved and underserved portions of Robeson County.  We are developing contacts and building relationships to further broadband opportunities for our area.

We recognized based on our own business needs just how important it is to have broadband available for everyone. We must have the ability to get daily information back from our substations to our office over a broadband connection.  Recently we implemented programs to help us better manage power consumption across our system, as well as programs for our members to better manage their energy usage.  This would not have been possible without broadband. We recognize it is essential that everyone has broadband available directly at their businesses and homes to address everything from education to health care to property security.

Moving forward, it is imperative that we work hard to ensure that our communities are not left out of the improving economic prosperity our state is enjoying.  Our focus will continue to be on meeting your energy needs and also to work for the betterment of life for everyone.

Message from Your CEO - May 2018 SHunt_sign.png Carmen E. Dietrich, President & CEO