On march 24, Carroll White REMC Journeyman Lineman Matt Bassett will travel to Guatemala to help bring electricity to a developing area of the impoverished Central American country.
“REMCs have a rich history of bringing electricity to areas that are not served,” Bassett said. “In our country, people look at having electricity as a right. It is really a privilege.”
Bassett is volunteering through Project Indiana, an initiative spearheaded through Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC) “to empower global communities on village at a time for a better tomorrow.”
The crew of 14 lineworkers will spend approximately two weeks electrifying the village of San Jacinto in ease central Guatemala. When the project is complete, approximately 110 homes, a school and clinic will have electricity for the first time. The power for the village will be generated from hydroelectric facility in the region.
“I wanted to be part of this project to help people,” Bassett said. “It is a little intimidating to be out of Indiana, but it is exciting to think about bringing electricity to a third world country.”
Recent Apprenticeship Program Graduated
Basset has worked at the REMC since 2013. He recently graduated from the Indiana Electric Cooperative’s Rural Electric Apprenticeship Program (REAP). With 21 other lineworkers, Bassett earned an associate of applied science degree and Journeyman Lineman Certificate.
REAP is a four-year program that professionally trains apprentice lineworkers from across Indiana. Graduates complete 576 hours of classroom-related study and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training at their electric cooperative. They also complete four additional classes through Ivy Tech Community College.
CW REMC CEO Randy W. Price is proud not only of Bassett’s achievement in REAP but also his involvement in Project Indiana. “We are proud that he embraces the cooperative spirit in wanting to help others. As a young husband and dad, Matt is to be commended for his willingness to be part of Project Indiana,” Price said. “Like the CW REMC lineworkers who have had this experience, Matt will return fro Guatemala with renewed dedication and insight.”
Bassett is the son of Ron and Kathy Bassett. His dad worked for NIPSCO. Bassett said he appreciated his father’s hard work and his dedication to his job and family.”
He and his wife, Alena, live in Carroll County and have two sons, Caston, age 7, and Jettson, 2 and a half.