Dec 04 , 2012
http flag video
 
Avista a big supporter of veterans and military families
 
Post by Brandi Smith
Video by Dan Kolbet 
 
Pride and patriotism were flowing on Friday, Nov. 30 when more than 50 Avista employees gathered to dedicate a new flagpole located near the front entrance of the Clarkston construction office. The Lewis Clark Valley Veterans Council was at the event to perform an official flag-raising ceremony. 

Avista employee Gene Dickenson being presented with folded flag in honor of his uncle who served in WWII.
Gene Dickenson being presented with folded flag
in honor of his uncle who served in WWII.
Two flag raisings took place. The first flag rose in honor of Line Foreman, Gene Dickenson’s uncle, who served in World War II. Dickenson’s uncle, Dan Marshall, served in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945. Marshall’s flag was raised to the top of the pole and then lowered to half staff while The Star-Spangled Banner was sung by guest, Sandy Riggers of Craigmont, Idaho. Dickenson was later presented with his uncle’s flag – something his family wanted him to have.

The second flag raised was a new permanent flag, that will fly proudly on the new flagpole. Major Kay Kalbfleish, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Retired helped conduct the ceremony.

Clarkston Operations Manager, Glenn Logsdon spoke about the significance of this event saying, “this is one of the proudest moments of my career at Avista. I have always wanted to do something to honor our veterans. Today is a great day to thank and honor those who have served our country.”

Avista Corp. President, Chairman and CEO, Scott Morris also noted how proud he was of his co-workers who have served in the military and marveled at the strength of their families. Currently Avista has approximately 112 self-declared veterans of military service, about 7 percent of our workforce. As the number of veterans returning home from service increases, Avista is actively working with local organizations to identify opportunities to support veterans-to-work initiatives.
 
Published: 12/4/2012  3:19 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Oct 16 , 2012
Photos
 
Visit to Avista’s Pre-Apprentice Line School a part of Careers In Energy Week

Post by Dan Kolbet

This week Avista is participating in national Careers in Energy Week, focusing on informing the public of the great careers we have in the energy industry.

Today high school counselors and teachers experienced life as an apprentice at the Jack Stewart Training Center, Avista’s Pre-Apprentice Line School. More than 20 participants learned how electric crews place ground wires on poles, position cross arms and place poles in the ground.

Avista didn’t let them just stand around either – they did the actual work with shovels, power drills, hammers and ropes. Due to some unfriendly high winds, rookies weren’t able to climb a pole, but there were several who were interested.

Almost half of today’s energy workforce will be retiring in the next decade. As technology within the industry quickly increases, so does the need for a tech-savvy workforce to support high-skill, high-wage jobs. The right education and training will provide men and women a rewarding, well-paying career that benefits millions of people every day.
 
 
Published: 10/16/2012  4:20 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Oct 15 , 2012
Careers In Energy Week
 
Post by Dan Kolbet
 
Avista is participating in national Careers in Energy Week, focusing on informing the public of the great careers we have in the energy industry. There will be a variety of events for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, student, high school counselor and technical education instructors, job seekers, veteran’s and others.

Almost half of today’s energy workforce will be retiring in the next decade. As technology within the industry quickly increases, so does the need for a tech-savvy workforce to support high-skill, high-wage jobs. The right education and training will provide men and women a rewarding, well-paying career that benefits millions of people every day. 

Governor Gregoire, the Spokane County Commissioners and City of Spokane Mayor David Condon have signed proclamations to support the awareness of energy careers.

Events for the week include:

Oct. 15: Newport School District and dam tour:  High school students, parents and teachers will attend an energizing assembly and will tour the Box Canyon Dam – to celebrate National Public Power Week (Oct. 8 – 12, 2012) and Careers in Energy. 

Oct. 16: Avista Line School:  High school counselors and teachers will experience life as an apprentice at the Jack Stewart Training Center in Spokane, Wash. Credit hours will be available. RSVP’s to Robyn Swanson (RSwanson@greaterspokane.org)

Oct. 17: Spokane CC and Gonzaga University:  This after school event will invite 60 6th – 8th grade Girl and Boy Scouts to participate in hands-on activities that will include cars powered by water, windmill building, and a tour of the new hydro power lab.  The event will be held at SCC, 1810 N Greene, Bldg. 28.  RSVP’s to Patrick Lewis (patrick.lewis@scc.spokane.edu)

Oct. 17: Lewis & Clark High School:  This College and Career Fair from 5-8 p.m. at LCHS will bring together colleges, employers and apprentice program representatives to inform LC students and their parents about many post-high school opportunities that are available, including within the energy industry. Contact: Christin Mackleit (ChristineM@SpokaneSchools.org) or 509-354-6912.

Oct. 15-19: Mobius Science Center, Spokane:  hosting several local professionals in hydropower, nuclear and alternative energies. Additionally, experiential activities will be facilitated on the exhibit floor all week.  Included with general admission to Mobius Science Center. Call (509) 433-5669 for specific schedule .

Oct. 18: Spokane Regional Solid Waste System Steam Plant Tours:  Beginning at 1 p.m., 90-minute tours will show how 800 tons of trash are burned daily to generate electricity. Open to the general public (wear closed-toed shoes and dress for weather). RSVP’s to Seth Dyson (sdyson@wdcspokane.com)

Oct. 19: LaunchPad INW Job Seekers Info Session:  lunch time information sharing on energy-industry careers and tips for job-seekers.   Details and RSVP via www.launchpadinw.com/events

Oct. 20: Gonzaga University and Avista Veterans’ Outreach:  Gonzaga will lead a 2 hour training session in the power system simulator lab (ZagOps). Avista representatives will talk about training paths for veterans to transition into the power industry.  RSVP’s to Jennifer Boettcher (Jennifer.Boettcher@avistacorp.com

Nov. 10: Expand Your Horizons in Spokane: 125 6th–9th grade Girl Scout and non-Girl Scout girls will explore the world of energy through hands on science and technology (STEM) projects at Gonzaga University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.  RSVP’s to Sarah Betts (sbetts@gsewni.org
 
Published: 10/15/2012  10:28 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Oct 11 , 2012
A service dog helps deliver an Avista form, at the Avista energy fair.
This special service dog lent a paw, at Avista's recent
energy fair in Idaho.
The Avista energy fair in Idaho.

Nearly 200 people - and one very special service dog - attended Avista’s Energy Fair at the Hayden Family Center in Coeur d’Alene yesterday.

The gymnasium was buzzing with conversations about how to keep cold air outside the home this winter by installing items like window plastic and outlet covers to keep drafts from coming indoors. The materials were provided free as part of the energy efficiency tote bag every attendee received as they arrived. Community partners, including the Idaho Department of Labor, ElderHelp of Idaho and the Community Action Partnership talked with fair-goers about the community services and resources available in Kootenai County.

Once the learning was done, warm servings of chili and cornbread quenched the appetites of young and old alike, served up by the ladies from Christ Kitchen, a non-profit that provides job training for women and delicious catering for us to enjoy.

The Avista Energy Fair is one of several outreach activities our company shares with the communities we serve. It gives us an opportunity to personally share information with our customers in locations close to your homes and businesses – making it more convenient for you to find the answers to your questions.

The final Energy Fair for 2012 is scheduled for Thursday, November 8 at Spokane’s East Central Community Center, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more here.
Published: 10/11/2012  2:28 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Sep 13 , 2012
United Way
 
Post by Brandi Smith

Today, the Avista employee United Way fundraising campaign in Spokane County began with a Day of Caring event at the West Central Community Center. More than 40 employees generously volunteered their time to hand out food to members of our community at mobile food bank hosted by Second Harvest – a United Way donation recipient.

In Spokane County it is estimated that nearly 14 percent of people are living under the poverty level. Organizations like the United Way contribute by helping children gain the skills they need to succeed in school and life, helping families and individuals become financially stable and independent, and helping people achieve physical, mental and emotional health.

Our employees have given generously to United Way. Last year employees gave $216,000 and our goal this year is to raise the bar and give $260,000.
 
Published: 9/13/2012  4:30 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Sep 13 , 2012
Post by Dan Kolbet
 
Avista's Jen and Cindy at a local veterans event.
Jen Boettcher and Cindy Rogers, from Avista’s Human Resources department attended the second annual “Welcome Home Event” for area veterans and transitioning military members on past this Wednesday at Spokane Community College. The event was organized by VA Medical Center staff and had over 60 employers and vets service organizations registered.

Spokane Mayor David Condon opened the event and wounded warrior Chris Carver gave an inspiring speech on the obstacles he has overcome after an IED explosion in Iraq nearly took his life. The job fair was attended by 75 Spokane-area hometown heroes.

Is there is hometown hero in your life?
 
Avista will also be hosting an event for veterans at Gonzaga University in October. We'll post information about that event when it becomes available.
Published: 9/13/2012  3:48 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Sep 10 , 2012
 
Join us at the energy fair in Lewiston.
The Avista Energy Fair will be in Lewiston, Idaho
tomorrow at the Lewiston Community Center from
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Hope to see you there.
The Avista Energy Fair will be in Lewiston, Idaho tomorrow at the Lewiston Community Center from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. It will offer demonstrations of ways to keep homes warm and safe for the winter ahead. Fair attendees can speak with Avista staff and learn first-hand about low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips. They’ll see how to install window draft stoppers like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Free samples of these and other materials to help people maximize energy efficiency in their homes will be given out at the fair.
 
In addition, Avista employees will have information about billing assistance and payment options. Avista community partners will also be on hand to offer helpful information about other community resources.
 
For the kids, and the kids at heart, Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, will be on hand to share his message of energy efficiency and safety.
 
Wattson, Avista's Energy Dog
Each year our customers ask for help in managing their energy use and costs during the winter. It’s never too early in the year for us to offer a broad range of ideas and demonstrations that will help residents keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside their homes. This event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista’s many services. Information about payment options, energy assistance and energy efficiency will be especially helpful to those struggling to pay their bills.
 
Energy Fair Details
Tuesday, September 11
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Lewiston Community Center
1424 Main St., Lewiston, ID
 
Price = Free

 
Published: 9/10/2012  10:11 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 28 , 2012
pix
 

Avista was truly “Human Powered” last week thanks to more than 120 employees who generously volunteered their time for the Salvation Army Backpack for Kids giveaway or helped us organize, set up and staff the Avista Energy Fair 2012 at the event. In the lead-up to the big day, employees donated more than $1,700, which was matched by a $500 contribution from Avista. Three bins of school supplies were also donated by our generous co-workers in Spokane.

The event began at 8 a.m. with a line that stretched around a city block. When the last backpack was given out at 6:30 p.m., more than 1,500 families had received a total of 3,614 backpacks, many of which were proudly worn by their new owners. For the 137 kids who were placed on a waiting list when the backpacks ran out, their wait for school supplies won’t last long. Avista has donated an additional $2,000 to the Salvation Army to purchase the packs and the learning tools that go inside.

The day and what it meant to our employees is best summed up in their own words:

“What an important service to the families and children who so desperately need support – and the joy that it brought the children to have a new, beautiful backpack of their very own!  We were so grateful to be able to share the opportunity for our employees to volunteer and see firsthand the important work that you (Salvation Army) do in our community for the same families who are also our customers.”
-Anne Marie Axworthy, Director of Consumer Affairs

“Having only been employed with Avista for about two months, it hasn’t taken long to find out that Avista truly lives out its commitment to give back to the communities it serves. This commitment was displayed early in the process through communication at both the corporate and departmental levels encouraging employees to participate, and by providing the work schedule flexibility to allow me to be able to volunteer.  However, what really cemented Avista’s commitment for me, was when I did a double take when I realized Scott Morris was driving the shuttle van I was riding to the event. It was amazing to me the number of parents that expressed their gratitude for our participation in helping to get their children something as simple as a backpack for school.”  
-Bob Brandkamp, Risk Management Analyst

“It’s eye-opening anytime I do community service with low income people. I registered people as they came in, and I had to ask what their monthly income was. The answers were astounding, how little people live on in our community. These are people with kids my kids’ ages. I feel fortunate to be in the position I'm in. It’s great that Avista partners with organizations like the Salvation Army.
-Lamont Miles, Design Integration Manager

“It was very nice for Avista to put the opportunity out there for us to volunteer. It’s hard for my wife and I to know where to volunteer and this gave us a way to help in the community.”
-Brian Hosig, Residential Meterman

“I saw a lot of people with pride and dignity; people who appreciated what was given to them. They were surprised we had an Avista goody bag. I'm glad I did it. It meant a lot to me.”
-Roxanne Williams, Energy Efficiency Program Rep.

“I volunteered with my son, Patrick. I thought it was good for him to see the need out there. He's pretty sheltered with dinner at home every night and the school supplies we purchase for him. It was good for him to see the other side of the coin -- how much need there is.  It was startling to see what some people are surviving on every month with several children. It’s Important to go to school that first day and start off on the right foot. How devastating it would be for kids to go to school without school supplies.”
-Debbie Deubel, Construction Standards Technician

And finally from Capt. Kyle Smith, Spokane Corps Officer, The Salvation Army Spokane Regional Services:

“Having such a wonderful group of volunteers from Avista was extremely helpful.  Your employees’ big smiles and willingness to jump in wherever needed made the difference. One of my favorite words is "synergy."  Yesterday I think we experienced synergy in action.  We all achieved far more working together than we could have done apart. Thanks again for being good neighbors.”
 
 
Published: 8/28/2012  11:16 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 20 , 2012
Avista Energy Fairs
 
The cold weather is coming - attend an Energy Fair and be ready

The Avista Energy Fair 2012 is coming to locations in the Inland Northwest. It will offer demonstrations of ways to keep homes warm and safe for the winter ahead. Fair attendees can speak with Avista staff and learn first-hand about low-cost and no-cost energy efficiency tips. They’ll see how to install window draft stoppers like rope caulk, window plastic and v-seal. Free samples of these and other materials to help people maximize energy efficiency in their homes will be given out at the fair.

In addition, Avista employees will have information about billing assistance and payment options. Avista community partners will also be on hand to offer helpful information about other community resources.

Wattson
For the kids, and the kids at heart, Wattson, Avista’s Energy Watchdog, will be on hand to share his message of energy efficiency and safety.

Each year our customers ask for help in managing their energy use and costs during the winter. It’s never too early in the year for us to offer a broad range of ideas and demonstrations that will help residents keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside their homes. This event provides a great way for customers to conveniently access Avista’s many services. Information about payment options, energy assistance and energy efficiency will be especially helpful to those struggling to pay their bills.

Please join us.

August 23,  8 a.m. – 8 p.m. – Salvation Army, 222  E. Indiana Ave. Spokane, WA

September 11,  3 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Lewiston Community Center, 1424 Main St., Lewiston, ID

October 10, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Harding Family Center, 411 N. 15th St., Coeur d’Alene, ID

November 8, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. – East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone St., Spokane, WA
 
Published: 8/20/2012  11:59 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jul 11 , 2012
Photo show of July 4 Celebrations on the Clark Fork
 

Original operator at Cabinet Gorge Dam, Clyde Meredith
One of the original operators of Cabinet
Gorge Dam, 90-year old Clyde Meredith,
who retired in 1984, rode alongside
Cabinet's current Chief Operator.
Avista employees and the community of Clark Fork celebrated our Independence Day and commemorated Cabinet Gorge 60th anniversary at the annual Clark Fork, Idaho - Fourth of July celebration last week.
 
Several of Avista’s hydro operations and environmental resources employees and their families, a line truck, electric safety demonstration trailer and Bull Trout education trailer took part in the community’s annual Fourth of July parade.
 
One of the original operators of Cabinet Gorge, 90-year old Clyde Meredith, who retired in 1984, was also in the parade. He rode alongside Cabinet Gorge’s current Chief Operator, Don Wells in Clark Fork License Manager Tim Swant’s 1965 Pontiac LeMans.
 
Avista helped support the community celebrations and fireworks, and donated a trailer-mounted BBQ to the Clark Fork Booster Club so they have a means of fundraising for many years to come.
 
We’re proud to be a part of the community of Clark Fork for the past 60 years. Happy Birthday to America, and to Cabinet Gorge.
Published: 7/11/2012  10:41 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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