KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There is a new holiday in Tennessee — honoring lineworkers. On April 10, the state became the first in the United States to create a permanent Electric Lineworker Appreciation Day, according to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.
The day will be celebrated on the second Monday of April of each year. The date has been codified into state law as a way to show appreciation for the state’s 3,500 electric lineworkers. Sen. Paul Bailey and Rep. Clark Boyd, sponsors of the legislation, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett welcomed dozens of lineworkers from across the state in a special ceremony in the Old Supreme Court Chambers. The lineworkers were later recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives.
“You should be honored and appreciated for what you do on a daily basis,” said Sen. Paul Bailey.
“Today we’re being recognized at the State Capitol for what we do, and I consider that to be a great honor,” said Greg Allison, a lineworker for Middle Tennessee Electric. “I love this career, I love the management that I have had in this industry, and I am very appreciative for what it has given me and my family.”
Bailey and Boyd introduced the legislation in January 2023. The bill passed in both the Senate and the House with no one voting against it. Governor Lee signed it into law on March 13, 2023.
“Safe and reliable energy is a critical part of Tennessee’s economy,” says Mike Knotts, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, “and lineworkers are the guardians of that infrastructure. Their tireless efforts, often in the face of extreme weather conditions and challenging environments, keep the lights on and our homes, businesses, and communities powered. We owe a debt of gratitude to these brave men and women who work so hard to ensure our safety and well-being.”