Tri-State joins co-ops nationwide in celebrating National Cooperative Month

co-op-month-logoEvery October, cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique, including local democratic control, commitment to the communities they serve, special benefits and services, and the return of capital credits back to members.

Tri-State and its 44 member systems are a proud part of America’s cooperative network, which, in its entirety, employs more than 850,000 people.

“Cooperatives — and especially electric cooperatives — are special,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of NRECA. “We have an obligation to provide reliable, affordable and safe electricity, but we take that a step further. We also have a responsibility to support our members, enrich schools and enhance our communities.”

Tri-State is one of the largest electric co-ops in a nationwide network of more than 900 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving 42 million people in 47 states. The association and its members have a rich history and were built on a strong foundation of the seven cooperative principles.

“Electric cooperatives were formed because rural communities were struggling for lack of investment by urban-based utilities,” Tri-State communications manager Jim Van Someren explained. “Neighbors banded together and lit up the countryside when no one else would. That’s what we recognize and celebrate each October.”

In addition to cooperative utilities, millions of Americans are served cooperatively by credit unions, food co-ops, agricultural co-ops and more.

Across the U.S., 29,000 cooperatives and credit unions generate $74 billion in annual wages and nearly $500 billion in revenue. Nationally, more than 2.1 million jobs are supported by co-ops.

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