Pioneer Serviceman Jerry Wiford will retire on June 28, following more than 41 years of service.
Jerry says that after completing high school, working for an electrical company or becoming a lineman was not fully on his radar, but it wasn’t completely off his radar, either.
After all, Jerry’s father worked as a Dayton Power and Light lineman for 46 years in Sidney.
Jerry attended auto tech school and began his career working as an auto mechanic for six years. It wasn’t too long after he turned 23 that he came across a job listing in the newspaper for a lineman apprentice position with Pioneer. Jerry decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and applied.
Following three interviews and testing, Jerry was offered and accepted the new position, and really, the rest is history.
He became a first-class lineman in 1981 and began in the serviceman position in 1988 — the position he holds at his retirement.
“When I started at Pioneer, all training was done in-house,” says Jerry. “There were no classes or outside training.”
With the exception of some of those frigid, icy winters, Jerry says he’ll miss the job, the routine, and the regular interaction between co-workers and Pioneer members.
“What I’ll miss the most is the opportunity to meet and help the people we serve,” says Jerry.
Throughout 40 years, he has experienced a number of changes, including procedures, equipment, technology, and safety apparatuses.
“I remember my first mutual aid experience. We had a National Guard helicopter come in and pick us up to help restore power in southern Ohio — we had no trucks or equipment,” says Jerry. “That’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
Jerry’s 40 years of dedication, knowledge, and commitment to Pioneer will be greatly missed.
“Jerry is a reliable, hard-working, and dedicated employee. He has done a lot for Pioneer and has sacrificed a lot for our consumer-members,” says Pioneer Director of Operations and Safety Nick Berger. “Pioneer has been lucky to have Jerry. We will miss his experience and job knowledge.”
During his retirement, Jerry and his wife look forward to a move to Denver, North Carolina, to be closer to their youngest daughter, spending more time with family, and enjoying the warmer climate the area provides throughout the year.