Stay Basin! Self-fulfillment, benefits, and a collaborative environment

Man standing in front of control panel
Joe Ashurst, system protection supervisor at the Transmission Systems Maintenance shop in Wheatland,  Wyoming.

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.

Joe Ashurst, system protection supervisor at Transmission Systems Maintenance (TSM) in Wheatland, Wyoming, has been working for Basin Electric since he moved to Wyoming in 2009. He has an associate's degree in electrical engineering, most of which he completed at Utah Technical College. Prior to working at the Wheatland TSM shop, Ashurst worked as a lead technician for Nextel Communications in the Southern Nevada area. “I mainly worked on distributed antenna systems for cell coverage for casinos and events like NASCAR and the Laughlin River Run,” he says.

Ashurst supervises relay crews in Nebraska, Wyoming, and western North Dakota. These crews test and maintain electrical systems such as substations. He says that in his line of work, no two days are the same. “Some days I am in the office doing administrative tasks, and other days I am out in the field doing substation work. A phone call often changes everything I thought I might be doing in a day,” he says.

Ashurst, a native of southern Nevada, thought Basin Electric looked like a great opportunity upon moving to Wyoming. “I wasn’t wrong,” he says. “I always said my dream would be to have a good job in a small town. Basin Electric is a great place to work with good pay and benefits, and I can live the rural life. That is not easy to find.”

Ashurst says the best part of his job are the people he works with. “I really enjoy spending time with crews, especially out in the field,” he says.

Ashurst’s hobbies include rock climbing, hunting, fishing, and traveling. His passion for travel was prompted by his interest in rock climbing. “When my youngest son and I got into rock climbing, the possibility of traveling to climbing destinations came into focus,” he says. In 2022, he took a fly-fishing trip to Alaska. That December he traveled to Chile and Argentina, and later went on a two-week sailboat trip in the Antarctic peninsula. This May he plans to travel to Mongolia to explore archeology sites and visit Istanbul while on his way back.

Ashurst is currently working toward gaining his private pilot’s license to further pursue his passion for travel. “My oldest brother and my oldest son both have their licenses and have been encouraging me to get mine for a long time,” he says. “I have always admired how my brother would jump in his plane and go on adventures.” Additionally, Ashurst is currently learning to speak Spanish, a goal he has always had for himself.

Ashurst plans to stay with Basin Electric until he retires, feeling that he has found the right career for his pace of life.

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