Lake Area Tech Makes Use of East River’s Former System Operations Map

Lake Area Tech Makes Use of East River’s Former System Operations Map

Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown is making good use of an old system operations map board that was donated to the school by East River Electric in 2018. LATI’s Energy Operations program teaches students about electricity, power plants, and processing plant operations to build the next generation of power plant operators and other workers needed in the power industry and beyond. They use the old system operations map to teach students how the entire power system works, from generation, to transmission, distribution and ultimately to the end consumer.

When East River Electric remodeled its System Operations area in Madison, the cooperative replaced the aging tile system map with a large series of video screens. When deciding what to do with the old tile map board, East River staff at the time reached out to LATI to see if they could put the map to use. They jumped at the opportunity.

LATI has set up a workstation area that includes a large airplane turbine in front of the tile map board to show students how turbines work. The map then guides the students through the different types of generation units and how the power they create is transmitted to end consumers. LATI has about 30 students per year go through the program and have a nearly 100 percent placement rate for students that complete the Energy Operations program.

Roger Solum, now an adjunct instructor, was the lead Energy Technology Instructor at the time the map was donated. Brady Brockel has taken over for Roger who retired recently but continues to teach some classes at the school. The two recently gave a tour of the LATI Energy Operations facilities and programming to members of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association board of directors as part of SDWEA’s annual meeting in April.

East River Electric’s 57th Annual LifeScape Fundraiser a Success

East River Electric’s 57th Annual LifeScape Fundraiser a Success

East River Electric’s 57th annual fundraiser to support LifeScape was a success, raising over $37,000. LifeScape is an organization which promotes independence for over 2,500 children and adults with disabilities throughout South Dakota. This year, the event was held as an online auction and an online raffle. Several local businesses generously donated items to the auction and cash to the LifeScape organization.

“The online auction and raffle were very successful and a direct tribute to our employees fulfilling our Touchstone Energy Cooperatives principle of Commitment to Community,” said East River General Manager Tom Boyko. “I want to thank our employee committee who really stepped up and organized the fundraiser. We also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the local businesses and member cooperatives that donated items to the auction. Our fundraiser was a success because of your generosity!”

East River’s annual fundraising efforts have helped provide for the very best in medical care, therapy, education and other services for the children at LifeScape. Several local children and people from around the region are served by LifeScape.

The East River Employees Committee donated $1,000, a total matched by East River Electric at $1,000 and matched by Basin Electric at $2,000. CoBank also contributed $2,000 to the event this year. In the 57 years since the East River fundraiser began, more than $335,000 has been raised to help LifeScape provide services to children and adults in rural South Dakota.

PHOTO CUTLINE – LifeScape empowers people to live their best lives.