CORNING — Join Southwest Iowa REC in celebrating cooperatives in Iowa and across America during National Cooperative Month.
Every October, cooperatives are recognized for the qualities that make the business model unique: local democratic control, commitment to supporting the communities they serve and improving quality of life, special benefits and services, and the return of margins (the co-op term for profits) back to members in the form of capital credits.
“Cooperatives are special,” said Phil Kinser, CEO and General Manager. “We have an obligation to provide reliable, affordable and safe electricity, but we take that a step further. We also have a responsibility to support our members and enhance our communities.”
Southwest Iowa REC is proud to be part of America’s cooperative network, which employs more than 850,000 people. Across the nation, 29,000 co-ops and credit unions generate $74 billion in annual wages and nearly $500 billion in revenue.
According to the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperation, cooperation thrives in Iowa, with more than 458 co-ops serving 1,375,340 members. Iowa’s co-op economy employs 13,730 residents and nationally more than 2.1 million jobs are supported by co-ops.
Southwest Iowa REC is one of more than 900 electric cooperatives, public utility districts and public power districts serving 42 million people in 47 states.
“Electric cooperatives were formed because rural communities were struggling for lack of investment,” Kinser said. “Neighbors banded together and lit up the countryside when no one else would. That’s what we celebrate each October.”
In addition to cooperative utilities, Iowa residents are served cooperatively by credit unions, food co-ops, agricultural co-ops and more. To learn more about co-ops and find one, visit co-opsusa.com.
Southwest Iowa REC has offices in Corning, Mount Ayr and Stanton and provides service to its member-owners in Adair, Adams, Cass, Decatur, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, Taylor and Union counties.