In Maine: IBEW Local 1837
16 Old Winthrop Road
Manchester, ME 04351
Phone: (207) 623-1030, Fax: (207) 621-8384
In New Hampshire:
680 Central Avenue, Suite 201
Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 743-1652, Fax: (603) 743-1654

New Hampshire Electric Co-op Lineworker "Hero" Gets National Attention

NH Co-op Lineworker James Robison.

NH Co-op Lineworker James Robison.

NH Electric Cooperative Lineworker James Robison.This story is featured in the Fall 2007 issue of The Current, IBEW 1837's quarterly newsletter.

Sheila Robison was just sitting down to lunch in her Bristol, New Hampshire home one afternoon when she picked up a copy of her husband’s Powerlineman Magazine, just to have something to thumb through while she took a break. An advertisement caught her eye that would really shake things up in the Robison household, and also cause quite a stir at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op where her husband James is an IBEW 1837 member and a lineworker since 1989.

The ad that Sheila saw was for the Huskie Tools Hero Contest. It first caught her eye because the lineworker in the photograph bore a faint resemblance to her husband. “When I read that they were looking for someone who had a great work ethic, integrity, the whole nine yards,” Sheila said, “ I thought ‘I know someone like that!’”

Sheila and James have been married for 22 years and have known each other since grade school. Without a word to her husband, she entered him in the Huskie Hero Contest, and then promptly forgot about it.

Just after the mid-April storm that knocked out power in much of New Hampshire and Maine, James received a FedEx envelope notifying him that he was a finalist in the promotional contest. That’s when Sheila told him that she entered his name and told his personal story to Huskie Tools. “You did what?” James said.

Even then, Sheila and James Robison assumed that winning the contest was a long shot at best, and they promptly forgot about it. Forgot about it, that is, until this past June when they received the final notice that James had won!

“They asked when it would be a good time to come out to Chicago and meet the CEO of Huskie Tools,” Brother Robison said. “They put on a real nice show for us and fed us like kings and queens.”

In addition to winning the trip, James has been featured in promotional advertisements for Huskie Tools and has had other travel opportunities as an ambassador for the tool company. But for Brother Robison, the best prize has been having a spotlight on the great work done by everyone at New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.

“We have the same storms that the larger utilities get,” James explained. “Very rarely do you hear about the Co-op. We’re out there, too! It’s a great place to work, that’s the one thing I would love said.”

Brother Robison has not let all this attention go to his head, though. “It’s an awesome job with an awesome crew. Any one of the men that I work with daily, or anyone working in the company could be sitting in my place right now,” he continued. “All of us have the same
approach to our work, the concerns for our union members and for the Co-op. They come first.”

Of course, James has taken some good-natured ribbing from his union brothers and sisters for his newfound notoriety. Although he’s a bit embarrassed by all the attention, he seems to shrug it off.

 

“Can you let me know when this story is coming out so I get ready for some more abuse?” he said.

Click here
to view the Huskie Tools Hero webpage featuring James Robison.