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Ethan Bakken selected for Youth Tour

EthanBurke-Divide Electric Cooperative has selected Ethan Bakken to represent the cooperative on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., June 15-21, 2019.


Ethan is a junior at Burke Central High School and is the son of Traci and Grady Bakken of Lignite.  At school, Ethan participates in cross country, basketball, speech, track, and baseball.  In 2018, Ethan earned fifth place in Radio Broadcasting at the State Class B Speech Meet.  Outside of school, Ethan enjoys hunting, attending basketball camps, driving around with friends, and riding snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and four-wheelers.  Ethan also spends many hours helping with all aspects of his family’s farming operation.


Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative is proud to have Ethan representing the cooperative on this year’s Youth Tour!


As part of the selection process, Ethan was asked to write an essay on the following topic:  Electric cooperatives are member-owned and controlled.  As a future member-owner of your cooperative, describe ways that smart technologies and social media might be used to communicate with young adults.  How might they be used to increase awareness and interest in the many career opportunities with electric cooperatives?

Here is Ethan’s essay:

With every blink of the eye, new technology ideas spark. As each day goes by, these advancements in technology are being put to use more and more. How the workforce reacts to it is all up to the generations to come.

As a high school teen, I believe that technology should be used in the workforce, but only to a certain extent. The truth that can be told within a person through face to face conversations should never be beat out by the use of social media. No matter what the job is and what age groups are involved. Face to face conversations will always be needed to express the truths involved with any topic. Body language and communicating skills are necessities in all work forces. If important conversations were to switch over to these devices, those key factors would be unknown.

Although these devices may not be the best for discussing important topics, there are multiple other ways that they can be used very successfully. Advertising and informing the new generation about the career opportunities within electric cooperatives can easily be achieved with the use of technology. I would never think twice before setting up pages for these co-ops on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. All these social media programs spread like wildfires among young-adults.

These young-adults can be and are such an easy target, if you approach them right. The first action, sadly enough, has come to the point of having to be through social media. Want them to become a part of the work force? Approach them through social media and encourage them with the opportunities of new smart technologies. Technology is almost a necessity in the workforce but the problem is that only so many people know how to use it. To be successful, offer these job opportunities to the young-adults who grew up with the technology advancements.

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