Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
In honor of the recent Labor Day holiday, the Grand River Dam Authority recognizes its workforce:
500 Oklahomans producing the “power for progress” that makes GRDA a low-cost, reliable electricity supplier, good steward of the natural resources under its control and an economic development engine for all of Oklahoma…
The following is an excerpt from GRDA’s report: The Power of Power …
The Grand River Dam Authority’s most powerful asset—its workforce— is comprised of approximately 500 Oklahomans. Daily, these employees complete the critical tasks that allow GRDA to continue its roles as Oklahoma’s low-cost, reliable electricity supplier, economic engine for the state and good steward of the natural resources under its control.
“With assets valued over $1.4 billion, GRDA demands highly-skilled and educated individuals to operate and maintain these investments and supply reliable power,” states a 2012 Oklahoma Department of Commerce report on the economic impact of GRDA.
GRDA jobs are diverse; ranging from electrical engineering and ecosystems management to financial planning and power-line maintenance. While the state of Oklahoma depends on this workforce to “keep the lights on”, this workforce depends on GRDA for good jobs, benefits and opportunities.
Experience and dedication define GRDA employees, as illustrated by the fact that the classified workforce turnover rate stands at 2.7 percent (according to the most recent Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management Study), that is five times lower than the average for all state agencies. That means employees — and their experience and education — stay at GRDA. In fact, many of the employees that helped to build the GRDA Coal Fired Complex in the late 1970s/early 1980s, have spent their entire careers there, operating that facility. The CFC has been a part of their life, and contributions to Oklahoma, for over three decades.
While it is hard to gauge the total economic impact of the workforce in the state, the attractive, stable jobs at GRDA do account for a total annual payroll of approximately $34 million. Those dollars are circulated throughout the state’s economy, in the communities where the 500-member workforce lives, works and plays. Many of those communities are in rural areas where stable employment is critical to economic health.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable electricity touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.
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