Best of Moffat County 2018: Craig Station powers state, empowers employees |

Best of Moffat County 2018: Craig Station powers state, empowers employees

A coal train makes a drop Thursday from Colowyo Coal Co. to Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station. Craig Station receives about half of its coal supply from Colowyo, with the other half coming from Trapper mine.
Shawn McHugh/courtesy

CRAIG — Energy generated at Craig Station powers cities across the state, but the plant helps power Moffat County’s economy by employing about 300 people, most of them residents of the county.

“It’s a secure business in the fact that everybody needs electricity,” said plant manager Rich Thompson. “As it’s being produced, it’s being used in the system. It’s a very steady job. The work is needed every day to keep the place running.”

Thompson said there isn’t much turnover at the plant. Employees start, enjoy the work and make a career of it. Several employees have been there for more than 30 or 40 years, he said. Workers also receive time off in large chunks. Though many Craig Station employees put in 12 hours workdays, those long hours of work also equate to long hours of off-time.

And, those long hours and long careers have built a family at the plant, Thompson said.

“Lot of people laugh that we spend more time with our family out here than we spend with our spouses,” Thompson said. “I think that’s probably true. Between outages, downtime and special projects, we end up spending a lot of our daylight hours out here with friends and cohorts trying to keep the place running.”

Thompson said new employees appreciate the culture of the plant and the respect they feel they receive there. He feels the plant earned it’s 2018 Best of Moffat County Award as Best Place to Work with more than 20 Employees, because so many employees have “found a really good home here.”