“There’s no higher calling than serving your neighbor.”
Ask Joe Leach what he does for a living and he’ll tell you he makes electricity for all of Colorado Springs. He’s an electrical engineer working in concert with other experts in the field to ensure that the people of our community have the electricity they need to get up and go, every day.
“It’s a thousand machines working in perfect lockstep. If any one thing in the chain breaks, making power becomes difficult. It’s one big system, but the devil is in the details.”
Growing up, Joe was always interested in power and what goes into making it, on the small scale up to massive systems that power whole communities. During his power systems course at University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, taught by now fellow employee Steve Schaarschmidt, he saw the defining lines of his future career. He worked as an intern with us for a year while finishing his degree and then came on as a full-time employee after graduating.
The job is absolutely what he hoped it would be, one in which he uses his talents and skills to do something of value for the community. And he’s not alone.
“We all have to bring our expertise together to produce quality results. We have incredible reliability here. And I think that not having to think about where your power comes from is a gigantic compliment,” says Joe.
Power production also presents great challenge and opportunity, and Joe’s at the forefront of changing the current.
“This is an industry poised on the brink of great change,” he says. “I’m excited about the transformation of our electric system and the incorporation of more renewable energy. This change will be difficult, but as an engineer, difficult means fun.”
Speaking of fun, it’s the mountains that keep Joe grounded in Colorado. His family relocated to the state from Indiana right before he started high school. He soon fell in love with the idea of an entire city and state that loves the outdoors.
He’s even taken our safety lessons into his role as a rock climbing instructor for Colorado Mountain Club. There, he is pioneering a new approach to teaching students about risk awareness, and why it matters, well before they start a climb.
These talks help ensure that everyone who starts a climb finishes it, much like our crews’ pre-job briefings instill the safety-first culture to ensure employees return home at the end of the day. And then, like Joe, return to work the next morning to keep powering our community.