Retirees in step with Kingston outreach
Beverley Kelley’s retirement from TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant lasted only two months. In late December, she was one of eight Kingston retirees called to provide outreach to Kingston residents after the Dec. 22 ash spill.
“I didn’t hesitate,” says Kelley, who worked at the plant for 30 years, retiring as Methods & Processes manager. “I was proud to help in any way that I could.”
Kelley started with the early visits to residents before becoming outreach lead. She coordinated activities for five two-member outreach teams: retirees paired with current Kingston employees, going door-to-door to visit 10-12 Kingston families each day to provide information and assurance.
During the first month, the two-member teams worked seven days a week, 12-14 hours a day. As of Feb. 10, the entire outreach effort had contacted more than 600 families. Former Kingston plant manager Earl Deskins is one of the team members.
“Our biggest role is listening,” says Deskins, who teamed with System Engineer Jason Weaver to knock on doors and attend small homeowner meetings, big town-hall meetings and open houses. “We gave a ‘face’ to TVA, answering questions, giving updates and reassuring residents that TVA is committed to doing the right thing – to clean it up and clean it up right.”
Now that the project has moved into recovery, the outreach group still makes periodic visits in the neighborhoods. Mostly, though, they can be found staffing the Outreach Center in Kingston, where residents visit or call to make or follow-up on claims and get answers.
“TVA is doing a lot of things right, and as retirees, we’re pleased to be part of this grassroots outreach,” says Deskins. “After all, we were part of the Kingston plant, and we are part of this community. There was no question about coming back to help.”
Beverley Kelley retired from TVA in September 2008, and Earl Deskins has been a retiree since April 2006.