Collin Gades has been hired as an apprentice lineman by Northern Electric Cooperative. He will work out of the Redfield shop. He fills the vacancy that was created on the crew by the retirement of David Appel this past summer.
Gades was born and raised in Appleton, Minnesota. He attended South Dakota State University before he transferred to Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Wadena, Minnesota to enroll in the electrical lineworker program.
“I always enjoyed watching the local linemen outside working and fixing and being the ‘heroes’ when the power went out,” Gades said.
Gades said his connection with a local lineman in his hometown reinforced his decision to pursue a career in line work.
“Greg Nelson was the lineman in Appleton who worked for Ottertail Power. I job shadowed him one time doing various jobs that day and touring the Big Stone power plant,” Gades said. “I was always in contact with him about jobs he was doing and the job in general, and I still am to this day. That is what inspired me to be a lineman.”
Gades graduated in May of 2019 and was hired by Northern Electric as a temporary lineworker at the Redfield outpost for the summer. That experience led him to apply for a full-time job at the co-op when there was an opening.
“The experience this summer was busy, and I learned the area and the system,” Gades said. “The co-op is a very good place to work because they focus on safety as the number one priority and having a good group of guys to work with is a bonus.”
Gades enjoys hunting waterfowl, deer, and pheasants. In the summer, he likes to fish and play baseball. His girlfriend, Kierra, is still in college. She is majoring in early childhood education and hopes to move to Redfield following graduation and open a daycare.
Redfield lineman Kenny Swanson, who has worked for the co-op for 32 years, was promoted to line foreman following Appel’s retirement. Gades fills the open position on the crew created by Swanson’s promotion.