Appreciating Michigan’s Energy Workers

Labor Day has long served as several cultural benchmarks—the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, the start of the football season, and fall harvest, to name just a few.  But here in Michigan, it remains a day revered first and foremost as a day we celebrate our workers and the strong Michigan they have helped build and continue to support. 

Among those workers are the 84,000 men and women of Michigan’s energy industry, and this Labor Day the Alliance for Michigan Power wants to take a few minutes to recognize and express our gratitude for the people who work so hard to power our state—literally.

They do such a good job that their work can be easy to take for granted.  When we walk through a doorway and flip a light switch, few of us think of what truly goes into that small miracle of illuminating a dark room.  We expect it to turn on because electricity is delivered reliably, and because families of nearly every income level can afford it.

But keeping the lights on isn’t magic; it’s hard work and oftentimes involves personal sacrifice. 

The People Behind the Scenes

Our infrastructure has been constructed and maintained by the hands of countless workers, from contractors to electric tradesmen to linesmen, for more than a century, and we continue to upgrade and build out new infrastructure today. 

Engineers and scientists research and develop new ways to solve old problems, and they continue to innovate and find solutions to provide for a more sustainable future.  Without their brilliant minds, our prospects for Michigan’s future wouldn’t be nearly as bright.

Those who work in sales and customer service are on the front lines daily, and they have the often-thankless job of helping keep consumers connected to the energy they need to lead more productive lives. 

The administrators who organize people and resources in an increasingly complex industry are tasked with meeting the growing need for electricity in a state that must power its great manufacturing, agricultural, and service sectors.  They have the highest standards and the vision to make things happen.

So when the next storm causes unavoidable outages, think of the countless reports being fielded in call centers and the crews leaving their families and the warmth of their homes to do dangerous work to make sure the rest of us have our power back as soon as possible, to drive our economy and improve the quality of our lives.  Better yet, the next time you flip a light switch or power up your computer or turn the thermostat up (or down), consider that the reason you can do so without having to worry about whether the power will be there is because Michigan’s local energy workers are doing their jobs behind the scenes. We owe them a great deal.

Our Friends and Neighbors

You don’t have to look far to find someone working in Michigan’s energy industry.  They might live on your street, or sit in the bleachers next to you at your child’s little league game, or be behind you in line at the grocery store.  They pay taxes and buy local goods and services and join in the same recreational activities you enjoy.  They are proud citizens who vote and volunteer in their communities and some have even served their country as servicemen and women.

They grew up in our hometowns and live the same kind of lives we all lead and want for their children the same thing any of us want for our children’s future. 

Michigan Energy Made It

Help us celebrate Michigan’s local energy workers all month long as we recognize the industry’s contributions to our lives, economy, and state as part of our “Michigan Energy Made It” series.  Where do you see Michigan energy at work?  Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Happy Labor Day to all members of the Alliance for Michigan Power—we’re grateful for your hard work and support, too.