The Mitchells' Power Connection
For Kirby Mitchell, Lineman Apprentice II – Gainesville, joining Jackson EMC was more than just a career choice; it was a dream that took root as a child.
Growing up, Kirby watched his father, Scott Mitchell, dedicate 35 years of service to our co-op as a lineman, before retiring in 2021.
Scott was first introduced to the world of linework when he was at a previous job doing grading. He accidentally hit a transformer one day on the job and Jackson EMC linemen came out to fix it. It was at that moment that he became fascinated with becoming a lineman.
Scott worked on the line crew to serve our members, with Kirby always dreaming to follow in his footsteps. One of Kirby's favorite childhood memories is attending Lineman's Rodeo with his family. Both Scott and Kirby have attended several Georgia Lineman's Rodeo and International Lineman's Rodeo events over the years – originally, with Scott as a participant and Kirby, his mom and sister attending in support. In 2022, Kirby was a rodeo participant for the first time, but recalls feeling right at home. He was glad – and proud – to have his dad’s support from the side.
At one particular rodeo that Scott was competing in, Kirby entered a contest that challenged kids to race to get a nut and bolt and re-tighten it down. Kirby won the contest, receiving a bucket truck as a prize that he still has today.
With Kirby’s early interest in linework, it came as no surprise that he would eventually continue the lineman legacy in their family. Scott shared that Kirby always had an interest in working with his hands, equipment and engines.
After high school, Kirby earned a degree in electrical utilities from Lanier Technical College. He hoped this would jumpstart his career in the world of electricity. Kirby’s dream to follow in his dad’s footsteps became a reality when he fficially joined the Jackson EMC team in July 2022 – a year after Scott retired.
Now, as Kirby works as a Jackson EMC lineman, he and his dad continue to share similar experiences, including storm response.
Scott joined Jackson EMC in March of 1987 and in less than two years as a lineman, he was called out with a crew to respond to Hurricane Hugo in South Carolina in 1989. Scott recalls how amazed he was seeing a community come together. He remembers how the local fire station housed their crew and grilled out suppers, other locals and churches washed their clothes and fed them lunch.
Now, when Kirby is called out to a storm, Scott feels both worry and pride, knowing he is following in his same path with the same men he once worked alongside and respects. Though concerned, Scott knows his son is continuing a legacy of service.
“It is great to know I am still connected to the Jackson EMC family even though I have retired,” Scott said.
With a history of community support during outages etched in their minds, both Scott and Kirby bond over the importance of their roles in restoring power.
As Kirby embarks on this journey, he walks alongside his father’s legacy, embracing the challenges, the camaraderie and the honor of being a part of the Jackson EMC family that you can only know once you’ve experienced it yourself.
“It gives me a strong sense of pride knowing that he watched the successes of my career and wanted to follow in the same career path. I couldn't be prouder to watch him learn and grow in this industry.” -Scott Mitchell
"My dad was good mentor, a good boss to those he led and from what I’ve heard, he was very respected. As far as my career here, I hope to achieve as many goals and relationships with coworkers as he did – I hope to work hard and earn my keep."- Kirby Mitchell