But Jason Flock can trace his lineage of utility workers. His grandfather was one of the original employees at Harrison REMC, and his great-grandfather helped create Harrison REMC, the co-op where Flock is staking supervisor. Flock’s father was a telephone lineman, he noted.
Flock’s grandfather, Claude Flock, was one of Harrison REMC’s first linemen and worked for the co-op for 40 years. His great-grandfather, Noble Flock, was an original organizer and incorporator of the cooperative in 1938. Noble traveled the county signing up his neighbors and rural residents as co-op members for the promise of the electricity that would soon come. Before electric co-ops began in 1935, only 10% of America’s farms and rural areas had the convenience of electricity.
Noble Flock then became one of the co-op’s original board members. What’s more, Noble’s brother Jesse was a state representative in 1935. Rep. Flock sponsored the original Indiana REMC Act that was passed in March 1935 and set the electrification of rural Indiana in motion (two months before the federal Rural Electrification Administration was enacted by President Roosevelt). Sadly, Jesse Flock died in 1937, when only a handful of REMCs had begun, and before Harrison REMC was organized.
Jason Flock carries his heritage proudly. It was his late grandfather, who he still calls “Papaw,” who convinced him to look at the co-op when the opportunity came. When a family friend at the co-op knew of an opening, he asked Jason if he’d be interested. “Of course, I jumped at it. It was a great job opportunity,” he said.
That was in March 1998. Flock started out in staking, a position that involves meeting face-to-face with consumers and helping design infrastructure to meet their needs for new and/or expanded service.
“Staking engineers are really the front line in providing service,” Flock said. “Engineers are usually the first people that the consumers talk to.”
A quarter century later, he’s still on the front line, but now supervising the department. “Like all operations employees, I’ve done a lot of jobs inside the department,” he added.
Over the years, he’s also seen improvements to technology that have made engineering more efficient and accurate. “We used to hand draw a lot of things that are now generated by the computer. We’re extremely precise now. We’ll build a new line, and we’ll GPS map it to make sure we know exactly where everything is.”
“When I first started at Harrison REMC, customers would ask if I was related to Claude Flock,” he said. “That always gave me a sense of pride that people still remembered him and associated our names. Working at Harrison REMC is humbling knowing that my grandfather and great-grandfather started the co-op in 1938. I have an enormous sense of pride in that and in the friendships I’ve made among my coworkers and our consumers that will last a lifetime.”