Proceeds from the plates to fund non-profit that supports lineworkers and their families following an injury or fatality
The state of Tennessee recently released a specialty license plate that honors the service and sacrifice of Tennessee’s electric lineworkers.
The plate, designed by Trent Scott, Vice President of Corporate Strategy of Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, features silhouettes of former linemen; his father, Norman Scott, W. V. Harris and Haskell Cox.
There are more than 3,500 electric lineworkers in Tennessee, and we seldom think about the important work they do until the power is out. Each day they get out of bed, pull on their boots and work to make civilized life possible for the people who live in their community. It is a dangerous job that frequently requires them to be away from their families.
In order for the state to put the Powering Tennessee specialty plates into production, they required supporters to collect 1,000 preorders in 12 months. Thanks to the overwhelming interest from lineworkers and others across the state, organizers collected 1,000 preorders in the first six weeks.
“Tennessee’s more than 3,500 electric line workers power our state through their service and dedication,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I am proud of this new Tennessee specialty license plate, and I thank the General Assembly for their support in honoring these valued individuals.”
Funds raised through specialty plate sales will benefit the Tennessee Lineworker Lifeline Fund, a nonprofit foundation created to assist lineworkers and their families in the event of a serious injury or fatality while on the job.
“In 2018 ‘electrical line worker’ was ranked as the 13th most dangerous job in the country – just behind law enforcement officers,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, the Nashville-based trade association who pushed for legislation establishing the plates. “Safety is something that we take seriously, but heights, high voltage, distracted drivers and other risks are always present. Each day lineworkers put their lives on the line for others, and the Powering Tennessee specialty license plates are a small way to honor these tough and dedicated community servants.”
Lead Lineman at Southwest Tennessee Electric, Ben Cupples, really appreciates Tennessee allowing this new plate to be used.
“People tell us all the time that they appreciate what we do,” he said. “Something like this just really allows us to be proud of one another as well.”
The Powering Tennessee specialty license plate and the Tennessee Lineworker Lifeline Fund are supported by local utilities, the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association, Tennessee Valley Public Power Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. You don’t have to be a lineworker to show your appreciation for these brave men and women – anyone with a private vehicle registered in Tennessee can get the plate. You can learn more about the plates and the Tennessee Lineworker Lifeline Fund by visiting poweringtennessee.org.
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit tnelectric.org or tnmagazine.org to learn more.