Electric co-op uses trading cards in schools to attract next generation of workers

The cards show workers at Coweta-Fayette in Georgia, USA, at work in 20 different roles to help them choose a career in the co-op movement

A Georgia electric co-operative has developed a set of trading cards to encourage its youngest members to think about co-op careers.

Coweta-Fayette EMC’s trading cards show employees at work in 20 different roles at the co-op to help students figure out what roles they might enjoy most.  

Inspired by Pokémon trading cards, Coweta-Fayette’s cards are distributed to young people at school programmes, career fairs, safety demonstrations and other community events, and handed to parents to give to their children.

“On the back of the cards, the language is super kid friendly,” said Chellie Phillips, the co-op’s vice president of communications and public relations. 

“We ask questions about their different likes and hobbies and then tie those into the career. For example, if you like digging in the ground, operating big machinery, being outdoors, solving problems and working as a team, consider a career as an underground power lineman.”

Other careers less frequently associated with electric co-ops are also promoted through the cards, such as accountancy and customer service.

“We also thought it would be a great way to showcase how many different careers were available at an electric co-operative,” said Phillips. “People think about linemen, but they don’t realise there’s accounting, customer service, meter technicians, GIS mapping positions, communications, and so many more opportunities here.”

The cards also list educational requirements such as high school graduation, lineman certificate, work experience or four-year degree, so students can see the different routes into various jobs.

Coweta-Fayette workers feature on the cards, which also serves to showcase their younger employees, said Phillips.

“Since our audience was primarily middle school students, we wanted them to see younger employees, so hopefully, they’d see themselves a few years in the future in those same places.

“Our employees loved being part of the project. In fact, they love showing off their trading cards too. That was a great employee engagement boost we weren’t expecting in the beginning.”