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News & Updates

Rural Electric Youth Tour winners to receive scholarships in lieu of trip to Washington, D.C.


Each year, Claiborne Electric Cooperative holds the Rural Electric Youth Tour contest, which sends two local high school juniors on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The winning students usually join a delegation of winners from other electric cooperatives in Louisiana and travel as a group to the nation’s capital. There, they connect with students from electric cooperatives across the country to participate in the National Rural Electric Youth Tour. Events on the trip are spearheaded by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

The 2020 Youth Tour was canceled due to Covid-19, and NRECA recently decided that the 2021 Youth Tour must also be canceled.

The management team at Claiborne Electric has decided to proceed with the 2021 Youth Tour essay contest. Instead of the traditional trip, two winning students will receive a $2,000 college scholarship.

Any high school junior who lives with a parent or guardian in a home served by Claiborne Electric is eligible to enter the contest. Also eligible are current high school juniors from any of the five high schools served by Claiborne Electric. These include Union Parish High School, Union Christian Academy, D’Arbonne Woods Charter School, Claiborne Academy and Lakeside High School.

To enter, each contestant must write an essay in the form of a letter to an elected official. Essays may discuss any topic that is important to the student and should be addressed to the appropriate official. Essays should be at least 300 words in length. Students may state facts and statistics to support their essay, but writing with clear purpose will be equally as important.

Essays will be coded for anonymity, so the name of the writer will not be known during the judging process. A panel of judges will review the essays and finalists will be determined. The winners of the trip will be selected from the group of finalists, based on the quality of the essay and other academic achievements and extracurricular activities.

Essays submitted become property of Claiborne Electric Co-op and may be published at the co-op’s discretion. All essays must be accompanied by a student information form, which is available here. All essays and student information forms must be delivered electronically to youthtour@our.coop by the end of the business day on Friday, February 26, 2021. This extends the original due date by three weeks, due to changes in the program and student quarantines. Essays will be scanned for plagiarism detection.

Foster Campbell announces support of electric cooperative internet projects


At a press conference held on October 6, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell announced his support of Claiborne Electric Cooperative and Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative providing affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband internet service in the areas where they provide electric service.

Claiborne Electric General Manager & CEO Mark Brown said this support is vital to the proposed fiber-to-the-home broadband project the cooperative has been working on for the past three years.

“We express our sincere thanks for Commissioner Campbell’s support of our project,” Brown said. “Without his endorsement, our proposal wouldn’t be able to get off the ground. With his help, we will now be able to provide desperately needed, genuine broadband access to thousands of homes and businesses across our service area.”

Campbell said during the next 10 years, federal agencies are expected to distribute more than $600 million to expand Louisiana’s high-speed internet service. Campbell said he now supports and urges electric cooperatives to compete for that funding.

“These are our tax dollars,” he said.  “Few public needs are as vital right now as broadband access, so we should fight to capture these dollars for our state.

“So much of our education, health care, and commerce is now conducted on-line, so reliable, fast and affordable internet service is needed in every household and every community.”

Campbell said he will ask the PSC this month to support proposals by Claiborne Electric and Northeast Power to create subsidiary companies that will offer internet service in their regions.  The Louisiana co-ops are part of a trend across the country of electric cooperatives entering the broadband business. Currently, more than 100 electric cooperatives nationwide have thriving internet subsidiaries.

“Rural residents and business owners in North Louisiana have received reliable and reasonably priced electric service from these co-ops for decades,” Campbell said.  “I believe they can count on the same for internet service.”

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