When the pandemic was raging last year, New River Electrical was affected just as much as every other company in the field. Since our work is often critical and frequently outdoors, we were able to adapt and continue working without much interruption in our efforts to bring electricity to more people. But an equally important service — public education in the New River Valley region of West Virginia — was suffering.
State guidelines mandated that students use personal or sterilized protective equipment during science experiments at Buffalo Middle School in Kenova, West Virginia. But due to budget restraints, this meant that Sarah Bailey, teacher and wife of New River Electrical employee Jamie Bailey, needed to spend time hand-cleaning goggles for her dozens of students instead of using the time preparing lesson plans. It was an added demand in an already exhausting year for teachers trying to abide by regulations for students’ protection while still providing a quality education.
When Sarah’s husband mentioned the issue to Jason Lester, Manager of Safety Operations at New River Electrical, he realized that these goggles were exactly like the ones our employees use in the field for their own protection. “We had some here already,” says Jason, “and purchased the rest for each student to have their own. For us, these goggles are pretty simple to purchase, but for the school system, it can be tough.”
Now, Sarah’s students each have their own pair of goggles of the same high quality that our employees use every day. That means more time preparing curriculums and classes and less time painstakingly wiping down protective equipment.
“Many of my planning periods have been spent cleaning rather than planning,” writes Sarah. “But the donation of goggles resulted in me having enough for each student to place a pair in their lab coat to keep for labs throughout the remainder of the year. I cannot thank you enough!”
For Jason, it’s an easy and straightforward way to give right back to our employees, many of whom have children attending Buffalo Middle School. “New River Electrical has been working in that area for some time. A lot of families that work for us send their kids to school there. So supporting this school is a roundabout way of supporting our employees and their families and giving back to the community.”