12:40 PM

GIS Technician

Laura Tate

Laura earned a technical diploma in drafting from Lanier Technical Institute in 1997 and, in June that year, came to work at Jackson EMC as a temp in the drafting department. She hated leaving when her two-month job was up, so when Robert Akin was promoted from the drafting department to marketing that September, Laura applied for the job. She started work as an engineering drafter one week before the 1997 Annual Meeting.

What was it like to be a new employee with Annual Meeting in your first week?

I knew a little about Annual Meeting from being in FFA and helping pack the chicken plates for the meeting, but being on the other side was a completely different experience. Annual Meeting day is a long and busy day.

A little about the job:

When I started work, the drafting department used MicroStation and IRASB to map the system. The maps were printed in rack and truck size, and were out of date when they were released. Contractors remapped and converted the system into a new program called Framme.

From that system, our data was moved into an ESRI system called ArcMap in 2003. This was a big accomplishment and change for the GIS Department. Our maps now have extensive data behind each feature; when users select features, they are able to see data from the circuit ID down to meter information. This new technology made it possible to throw away the paper maps that were in the trucks; those were so out-of-date and cumbersome the linemen joked they used them as wheel chocks. Linemen now have Toughbooks that provide more accurate and reliable data.

Along with your job, what do you like best about working at Jackson EMC?

The people. Over the years we’ve become more like family than co-workers.