Chuck Johnson celebrates 35 years working at Thomas Hill's coal yard
Chuck Johnson, Huntsville, started his career in 1981 with Associated Electric Cooperative after a few stints in construction. He recently celebrated his 35th anniversary with the cooperative, working at its Thomas Hill Energy Center in Clifton Hill.
Johnson started, as most do, as a general utility and became a utility operator later that year. He's worked as a yard equipment operator since 1982. He stayed because of the people he works with, stating: “I work with a bunch of good guys and gals. We’ve worked as a team and got things done. That’s what it takes … everyone knows what the other is doing.”
Johnson enjoys working outside and running big machinery. “I like doing something that after you’re done, you can look back and see what you’ve accomplished.”
A lot has changed over the years. Johnson points to the quality of the equipment as the biggest and most beneficial change. He appreciates the focus on safety and training. His experience means he knows every inch of the coal yard from the storage piles to the 5 miles of conveyor.
It’s a job he’s loved, mostly because it’s outdoors. “I’m an outside guy,” he said.