JEMCO NEWS has been a part of Jackson EMC for 70 years.
Jackson EMC entered a period of rapid expansion in the early 1950s. Construction of new power lines picked up with intensity as residents wanted to electrify their homes. The cooperative opened several local offices. And as its membership grew, so did the need to expand its communication.
The first issue of JEMCO News – Jackson EMC’s monthly newsletter for members – was launched in 1952. For 70 years, the publication has helped members learn about using and saving energy, stay informed about the cooperative’s operations and community involvement, and even find new recipes.
The cooperative asked its members for help in naming the new publication. After receiving more than 400 entries, the name JEMCO News was chosen. Mrs. Ernest Harris of Winder, who won a $15 prize for her entry, suggested taking the first letters from Jackson Electric Membership Corporation and adding the word "News".
Bill Carpenter joined Jackson EMC’s staff in 1962 and served as editor of JEMCO News. Carpenter grew up in Hall County without electricity while his neighbors had it. “I could see their lights. I was touched by the
fact that it was all around us, but we couldn’t get it,” he said. That childhood experience led to his desire to help others get electricity.
JEMCO News regularly featured the cooperative’s home and farm electrification advisors, who often shared stories about how members used electricity to modernize their homes and businesses.
Interstate 85, which opened in the 1960s and runs through the heart of the cooperative’s service area, became a pipeline for growth. As industries began expanding further into Jackson EMC’s service area in the 1980s, JEMCO News began to highlight some of its large industrial members.
The accomplishments of students has also been a big part of JEMCO News since its early years. Today, the publication continues to share stories about teachers using Jackson EMC-sponsored grants for classroom projects and students selected for the annual Washington Youth Tour.
JEMCO News is just one of the ways Jackson EMC communicates with members – along with our website, social media, videos, emails, letters and more. As a cooperative, one of our principles is providing education and information. JEMCO News has been a long-valued source to do just that.