• LPEA welcomes three new Journeymen Lineman


    Journeyman Linemen Matney, Sieg join LPEA; apprentice Ribera “journeys” out

    Further enhancing its commitment to provide safe, reliable electricity to its members in La Plata and Archuleta counties, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) welcomes three Journeyman Linemen to its operations team. Linemen are responsible for constructing and maintaining electric power transmission and distribution lines and facilities throughout LPEA’s service territory.

    Established Journeyman Linemen Shaylon Sieg and Jeremy Matney are new to the LPEA crew, with Archie Ribera “journeying” out, completing the four-year LPEA apprentice program to become a fully-certified Journeyman.

    Originally from Kansas, Shaylon Sieg has been a Colorado resident for nearly 20 years, moving to Del Norte in 1993. During high school, he volunteered for and ultimately worked seasonally with the US Forest Service where he was introduced to electric utility industry during a presentation on power lines and safety.

    Intrigued, Sieg attended Mesa Hotline School to get his start in the industry, and was hired by Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. following his graduation in 2004. He earned his Journeyman Lineman at MPEI, but after eight years based in Granby, Colo., he welcomed the opportunity to move his young family to Durango.

    “My mom is still in Del Norte, so we are closer to her here in Durango,” said Sieg, who is based out of LPEA’s Durango headquarters. “But I just love the area, and like to fish and hunt. The main draw has always been being out-of-doors. Being cooped up inside is not for me.”

    Jeremy Matney has longtime roots in the area and in the industry. Born in Utah, but raised in Durango, Matney is the grandson of Harold McCoy, a career lineman. Upon his graduation from Durango High School, Matney was employed as a groundman, working in construction for JH Highline and WESODI, LPEA’s wholly-owned line construction company. He then gained experience in the electric industry with Par Electric and finished the Journeyman apprentice program at Mountain States Electrical Contractors. Most recently, he traveled throughout the country as a contract lineman from his base in Salida, Colo.

    “But I wanted to see my kids grow up and not travel so much,” said Matney, who is now based out of LPEA’s Pagosa office. “Plus, I still have a lot of family in the Durango area.”

    A fan of the regional lifestyle, Matney enjoys fishing, camping and backpacking with his family.

    New Journeyman Lineman Archie Ribera, based in Durango, originally joined LPEA in 2007 as an Equipment Operator, but a year later was accepted into LPEA’s Journeyman Lineman apprenticeship program.

    A native of Ignacio, Ribera spent some time in Phoenix, Ariz., before moving to Pagosa Springs where he worked for the Colorado Department of Transportation on Wolf Creek Pass for four years. The opportunity at LPEA brought him back to La Plata County.

    “It was definitely challenging,” said Ribera of the apprentice program. “But I had a lot of help from the linemen, the crews. It has opened up new opportunities for me.”

    Ribera, who lives in Bayfield, dedicates his spare time to his family.

    “We congratulate Archie on earning his Journeyman Lineman and welcome Shaylon and Jeremy,” said Steve Gregg, manager of operations. “Our linemen play an essential role. They’re the ones out there on the front lines getting the power back on in all types of conditions. With top-notch professionals at work, LPEA can continue to provide our members with safe, reliable electricity.”

    With a number of anticipated retirements in the coming years, LPEA plans to hire new Apprentice Linemen in the not too distant future. Those interested in this future apprenticeship opportunity can sign up to be alerted when the Apprentice Lineman position becomes available. Visit www.lpea.coop and click on “Contact Us” to join LPEA’s email list.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.

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