"No Place Like Home" for OREMC's Newest Linemen
Okefenoke REMC is pleased to welcome four new linemen: Dakota “DJ” Clark and Alex Wilson are working out of OREMC’s Kingsland office, and Josh Grantham and Jesus Villanueva are working out of the Hillard office.
DJ Clark joins OREMC as an Apprentice III Lineman with five plus years of experience in linework. Raised in Waycross, he completed the Electrical Lineworker Certificate program at Coastal Pines Technical School, with a week of on-the-job training at Georgia Power before going to work for utility contractors Pike and Sumter Utilities. Recently married and living in Woodbine, Clark says he was tired of traveling and was looking for an opportunity closer to home when the position at OREMC became available. “Everyone is more personal here, I work closer to home and get to spend more time with family,” Clark notes.
Alex Wilson, Apprentice II Lineman originally from Folkston, also comes to OREMC after working at Sumter Utilities. Prior to that he was with another contractor, Mastec, and had also worked for other electric utilities. He too wanted an opportunity closer to home to be with his wife and two daughters, ages two and four. Wilson says, “Everyone here at OREMC is nice and people care about one another. I’ve always had good relationships with my crews, but you really get the sense the company is looking out for you. I’m more than just a number here.”
Journeyman Lineman Josh Grantham, St. George, Florida, has joined OREMC after doing contract work for Hart Utilities and Florida Light & Power. Previous to that, he worked in California—South Central Los Angeles for five years and the San Francisco Bay area for four years. Like the others, being close to home was Grantham’s motivation for coming to OREMC. He says, “It is nice to work with other local guys who also live here and are invested in the community. We treat each other with respect . . .like family.” Now that he doesn’t have to travel, he has more time with is kids: a son age 10 and two daughters ages 12 and 14. They like spending time on the river and fishing. Grantham is also beekeeper. He took it up as a hobby, learned he had a knack for it and currently has 250 colonies.
Apprentice II Lineman Jesus Villanueva also worked for various contract companies before coming to OREMC. He began his career as a lineman after completing the Electrical Lineworker Certificate program at Coastal Pines Technical College in 2018, including his week of on-the-job training with the Hilliard crew. Following that he spent time working for Sumter Utilities, Lee Electric, Coastal/BHI and most recently Musgrove down in St. Augustine. Villanueva is happy to be working closer to home where he says, “I see OREMC consumer-members at the grocery store, get to talk with them and feel part of the community.”