Rayle EMC Accepting Scholarship Applications

Rayle EMC is once again accepting applications for the prestigious Walter Harrison Scholarship. This year, 10 scholarships will be awarded to students throughout Georgia, and Rayle EMC can submit two applications for consideration of these scholarships.

Sponsored by Georgia’s 41 electric cooperatives, including Rayle EMC, the $1,000 Walter Harrison Scholarship can be used for academic expenses at any accredited two- or four-year university, college or technical institute in Georgia.

“Commitment to community is one of the cornerstones of the cooperative business model,” says Rayle EMC General Manager Tony Griffin. “We think it is important to ‘walk the walk’ and give a hand up to deserving students in our own areas.”

The scholarship program pays tribute to the late Walter Harrison, a pioneer in the rural electric movement and a leader at local, state and national levels in the electric cooperative program. Since its inception in 1985, Georgia’s electric cooperatives have awarded more than $181,000 to students through the Walter Harrison Scholarship program.

Factors for consideration for the Walter Harrison Scholarship and Rayle EMC Scholarship include gradepoint average, SAT scores, academic standing, scholastic honors, community involvement and financial need. To apply for the scholarship, students must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited undergraduate degree program. They also must complete an application and submit a biographical sketch which includes a preview of his or her future plans.

Finally, to be eligible for the scholarship, students and their families must be members of Rayle EMC and reside within the co-op’s service area.

Rayle EMC recognizes that not all applicants can receive the Walter Harrison Scholarship, so its Board of Directors implemented a local scholarship program that has grown from two $500 annual scholarships to seven $1,000 annual scholarships. Rayle EMC scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded annually to students from each of the five Directorate Districts and two at-large, using the same criteria used for selection of the two Walter Harrison Scholarship nominations.

Entries for the Walter Harrison Scholarship are reviewed by a scholarship committee consisting of EMC directors and managers from across Georgia.

Entries for the Rayle EMC Scholarship are reviewed by volunteer educational professionals not employed by the cooperative.

To request a scholarship application, contact any Rayle EMC office or call (706) 678-2116 or click on the PDF link below. Applications may be submitted to the nearest co-op office, or mailed to Rayle EMC, Walter Harrison Scholarship, P.O. Box 1090, Washington, GA 30673. Deadline for submitting applications is Jan. 27, 2017.

Rayle EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity to more than 14,000 members in Wilkes, Lincoln, Greene, Morgan, Taliaferro, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Clarke, Madison and Oconee counties.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s member-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.

Walter Harrison Scholarship Application

Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption expires Dec. 31

The Georgia Department of Agriculture offers exemptions to qualified producers for agriculture equipment and production inputs, including an exemption for certain uses of electricity. All members who are eligible and currently have a Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) card must renew their certification annually.

To continue having the qualifying agricultural exemption status applied to Rayle EMC electric accounts, members should submit their 2017 GATE card and the addendum listing all accounts requiring exemption to Rayle EMC by Dec. 31, 2016.

Any accounts that do not have a 2017 card on file at the time of their January billing cycle will be charged sales tax. This sales tax is refundable only from the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Lineman Appreciation Month

Thank a Lineman in April


Georgia’s electric cooperatives, including Rayle EMC, have designated April as Lineman Appreciation Month, extending what is currently a one-day national observance of National Lineman Day scheduled this year on April 11.

During the month of April, Rayle EMC and other electric co-ops across the state will honor the dedicated men and women who work with thousands of volts of electricity high atop power poles and power lines 365 days a year to keep the lights on.

“Our line workers are the first responders of our electric distribution system, and they are on-call 24/7 to respond and restore power to members when they experience a service interruption,” said Tony Griffin Rayle EMC’s General Manager. “Conditions can be dangerous, but they power through to ensure service is restored at the earliest possible time while utilizing safe work practices to protect themselves and our members.”

In addition, a statewide Lineman Appreciation ceremony is planned this year on April 19 at the state Capitol in Atlanta.

To show your appreciation, and as a sign of respect and support, please take a moment and thank a lineman for the work they do by visiting Rayle EMC’s Facebook page.

Use #ThankALineman to show your support for the men and women who light up our lives and dedicate themselves to getting the job done regardless of the conditions.

At Rayle EMC, line workers maintain 3,246 miles of distribution line in Wilkes, Lincoln, Oglethorpe, Greene, Taliaferro, Hancock, Morgan, Clarke, Madison and Oconee counties.

Be a part of the Washington Youth Tour

WYT151Cream of the crop. The best and brightest. Upper echelon. High achievers. Just about any superlative fits each year’s group of Georgia delegates for the Washington Youth Tour (WYT), sponsored by the state’s electric membership corporations, including Rayle EMC.

Every delegate’s accomplishments and interests are highlighted during the kickoff banquet each year, before the high school students begin their whirlwind week of team building, traveling, sightseeing, learning and bonding. There are some common themes: Not only are these young people very smart—and polite—but they also do a lot. Active in their churches. Busy with volunteer work. Gifted athletes. Beta Club. National Honor Society. Eagle Scouts. The list goes on and on.

Considering the rigorous application process (which varies by EMC), it’s not surprising that the students chosen as WYT delegates have such impressive backgrounds. Some EMCs test applicants on their knowledge of electric cooperative history. Others receive recommendations from school counselors. Many co-ops conduct in-person interviews with the best candidates.WYT152

A big reason why these delegates—who begin Washington Youth Tour week as strangers—bond so quickly and develop lasting friendships is that they are all driven to succeed. Those biographies shown at the kickoff banquet list the delegates’ college plans and career aspirations, and it’s clear that all set the bar high for themselves.

Ready to count yourself among the success stories? The 2016 Washington Youth Tour will be held June 9-16. Rayle EMC will sponsor three rising high school seniors or juniors from schools in its service area to attend the tour. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity only costs the time it takes to write an essay of 500 to 1,000 words about the factors that make an electric cooperative different from other electric utilities and how it benefits the community. Students interested in this opportunity can obtain additional information by contacting Member Services Representative Richard Heard at (706) 678-2116. All essays should be postmarked by March 11, 2016, and mailed to: Richard Heard, Rayle EMC, PO Box 1090, Washington, GA 30673.

The application may be download from the PDF link below.