Recruiting Experiences at Matanuska Electric Association
- Mar 12, 2021 2:00 pm GMTMar 12, 2021 2:00 pm GMT
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Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska’s oldest existing and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its 51,000+ members. MEA’s service area is about the size of West Virginia.
Organized efforts to acquire electricity began in Palmer’s Matanuska Colony in the late 1930s, shortly after several families from rural America traveled north to Alaska to make a fresh start as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. The colonists cleared land and built roads, farms, homes and stores.
In 1937, the colony petitioned the newly created Rural Electrification Administration (REA) for help in creating an electric cooperative. Finally, in 1940, the colonists got the go-ahead. On March 1, 1941, they formed the Matanuska Electric Association, the first REA cooperative in the Territory of Alaska.