By Rebecca Harris, Research Associate –
Today is National Lineman Appreciation Day! The day marks the often invisible role line workers play in ensuring reliable electricity. The day was first recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2012 and continues to be marked each year on April 18th. (Although this year, through a game of telephone, linemen got two appreciation days. We’re not complaining.)
Lineman Appreciation Day brings attention to linemen’s history and role in society, and reminds customers what goes into restoring an outage. This can even affect utilities’ customer satisfaction—Seattle City Light’s social media strategy rests on the idea that customers are more positive when they see pictures of field crews working to restore their electricity.
The day is also meant to spark interest in choosing line work as a career. The Center for Energy Workforce Development estimates that American utilities will need to hire over 30,000 new line workers between 2015 and 2024 to replace retirees. Companies everywhere are ramping up their recruitment activities, including efforts like Lineman Appreciation Day that reach a broader audience.
This year, individuals, businesses and utilities celebrated Lineman Appreciation Day by posting about linemen and thanking them for their service. For example, Chickasaw Electric Cooperative posted pictures of each of their linemen, thanking them all by name. Georgia Power created a webpage where folks could write thank-you messages to linemen throughout the month of April.
Here’s a small collection of my favorite appreciation posts. You can see how others celebrated by following #ThankALineman on your favorite social media platform.