Stay Basin! New opportunities, great coworkers, and career focused

Cody Schmidt, maintenance planner/scheduler at Pioneer Generation Station.

Basin Electric appreciates its employees and works hard to retain its workforce. The cooperative understands employees, with their combined knowledge, insight, and hard work, are the ones who make the difference. 

Cody Schmidt worked at Lonesome Creek Station as an operator technician, operating and working on machines, for a little over six years, but three months ago he began working at Pioneer Generation Station (PGS) near Williston, North Dakota, as a maintenance planner/scheduler. Prior to working at Basin Electric, Schmidt worked for Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho, for 15 years as an equipment maintenance technician and then worked in the oilfield around Williston for a few months as an electronics technician. 

Schmidt earned an associates degree in electronics technology from Bismarck (North Dakota) State College. He has also attended various training classes for equipment maintenance in the semi-conductor industry and a few for gas turbines and power generation. A native of Mandan, North Dakota, Schmidt heard from friends that Basin Electric was a good place to work, and when he found out they were looking for people in his area he applied. 

Schmidt’s position was created for Pioneer and the construction of PGS Phase IV. The new natural gas-fueled generation will be a combination of combustion turbine and reciprocating engine units. "I’m learning new things every day as I settle into this new role," he says. "I'm learning more about the site and the equipment such as the reciprocating engines. Once we get the new frame units installed there will be another learning curve as I get to know those as well."

Most days, Schmidt works with contractors to get maintenance performed. "I set up schedules for maintenance, ensure we have the correct parts needed to perform the maintenance, and work with engineering to make sure we are doing what we can to keep everything running," Schmidt says. "Every day is different. It changes depending on what is going on around the site."

Besides learning and getting to do new things, Schmidt says the best part of his job is his coworkers. "They make it enjoyable to come to work each day," he says. 

In his free time, Schmidt likes to fish for muskellunge and large pike and hunt deer. He also likes to run his laser engraver to make and personalize things for people. “I make all sorts of different things for people like travel mugs, drinking glasses, artwork, charcuterie boards, Christmas ornaments, coasters, and backlit mirrors,” Schmidt says. “Everything I make is unique or personalized in some way. I enjoy seeing the responses of people when you hand them the finished product.”  

Schmidt has plans to stay on at Pioneer for the long term because of the opportunities for growth and the chances to do different things within the company. “It’s a good place to work and the benefits and pay are great,” Schmidt says. “This is a place where you can have a career; it’s not just another job.”

Related Videos