Powering Labor Day Celebrations
Always the first Monday of September, Labor Day celebrates the community and economic achievements of American workers. Here in the Miami Valley, our region has embodied the American spirit through our resilience, ingenuity, and our collaboration. We think of the community response to the 1913 Flood which paved the way for growth and success in our downtowns, the accomplishments of our inventors including Clayton Brukner and Warren G. Grimes, and our farmers who banded together to bring power and prosperity to the rural people of the Miami Valley.
Recognizing that existing utilities companies weren’t interested in extending electric service to rural areas, our farmers decided to create their own electric company in the form of a cooperative. The first rural electrification project in Ohio was located on County Road 25A, just south of the Piqua power plant, by Pioneer Electric Cooperative (formed from Miami Rural Electric Cooperative, Champaign Rural Electric Cooperative, and Shelby Rural Electric Cooperative). Five hundred people gathered to see that first Rural Electrification Association pole set in the nation on November 14, 1935. On June 15, 1936, the Charles McKinney residence, two miles south of Piqua, was the first home energized by the Cooperative. By 1937, the Cooperative had 3,000 members and over 1,000 miles of line.
Today, Pioneer Electric Cooperative has over 17,000 members and nearly 3,000 miles of line. Our members still include farmers and residents, but also include manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and a variety of small businesses.
Beyond Pioneer’s member-consumers, Pioneer’s employee team has been the backbone of our success for decades. Our hardworking line crew gets the job done in all types of weather conditions - from blazing heat to sub-zero temperatures. In addition, our support employees, engineers, and entire administrative staff prepare and stand ready to respond. The team always delivers for our members.
– Ron Salyer, President & CEO
The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882, decades before the formation of the first consumer-owned electric cooperatives. Now Labor Day is a holiday filled with cookouts, friends and family, and (sometimes) overdue house projects. So, this year when you grab the coleslaw from the refrigerator or text your family or even charge your power drill, give thanks to those early American laborers who brought power to your home.