Auburn Electric Lineman Receives Top IMEA Award
Corey Fry, an apprentice lineman with Auburn Electric, was awarded the Bryan Osban Apprentice Of The Year Award by the Indiana Municipal Electric Association (IMEA). Corey is the first Auburn Electric lineman to ever receive the award.
“We’re very excited for Corey, and fortunate to have him on our line crew,” says Auburn Electric General Manager Chris Schweitzer. “Corey has a great work ethic, is a servant-leader among his peers, and is advanced in his abilities and performance. While he is naturally good at the lineman job, he is always pushing himself to be better for his crew, his utility, his community.”
Corey Fry: Academics, Attitude and Performance
The award is part of the IMEA’s apprentice program, which is a required four-year, 8,000-hour program in order to earn the Journeyman Lineman certification. The Apprentice of the Year award recognizes those in the apprentice program who are exceling in academics, attitude and job performance. Corey was chosen from more than 50+ apprentice participants.
“Corey was the clear award winner,” says IMEA Executive Director Duane Richardson. “His academics are outstanding and—equally important—so is his attitude. Corey approaches everything in a positive manner and has leadership skills beyond his years. He is just a superior young man.”
Corey is in his fourth year of the program. Most award winners are fourth-year participants, though Corey has been considered for the award in previous years. This is a testament, Duane says, to his consistent performance at a high level, which doesn’t just positively impact him but his fellow linemen and, ultimately, Auburn Electric and those the utility serves.
Focused on Individual and Crew Safety
The award is named after Bryan Osban, a second-year apprentice who was tragically killed in a work zone accident while performing his duties for Frankfort Electric. In addition to honoring Bryan’s memory, the award serves as an important reminder that the job of a lineman is dangerous—one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America.
“In this job, safety is everything, which is why the training and education is so rigorous,” explains Jeff Tuttle, Auburn Electric’s most tenured lineman, having been with the utility for 46 years now. A lineman must be aware of his own safety, as well as that of others on his crew. Jeff says Corey does that well, thanks to his strong working relationships, good listening skills and commitment to proper protocol.
The Future of Auburn Electric
“Guys like Corey are one of the reasons I’m still here,” Jeff says. “I want to leave the utility in good shape and make sure our young crew has the skills, tools and leadership they need. Corey is a key part of that.”
The award, Jeff says, signifies the quality of this next generation of linemen. “This award is quite an honor in our industry and something for all of us at the utility to be proud of,” he says. “It also sets a target for all the linemen completing the apprentice program as well as the new ones coming in. It makes me confident the future of the utility is in good hands.”