Customization of training is often cost prohibitive for individual cooperatives to reasonably provide. Collectively, through their statewide trade association, co-ops are able to provide employees professional development opportunities that keep pace with our changing business conditions.

MREA provides a variety of training to electric cooperatives that is customized to their specific needs. Our areas of training include: leadership, management, financial, supervisory, customer service, technical best practices, monthly onsite safety meetings, apprenticeship certification, hands-on technical skills, hot line work, metering and much more. Please see our event schedule and descriptions for details or download MREA’s calendar of events in PDF format.

Director training

Electric cooperatives are locally owned by their members and governed by an elected board of directors who are also consumer-owners of the cooperative. These directors play a crucial role in determining the strategic direction and priorities of the cooperative. From environmental laws to financial matters to cyber security and technology advancements, the electric industry is incredibly complex and changing rapidly. In order to effectively govern, co-op directors need to have a thorough understanding of these issues.

An effective board of directors is a high priority for electric cooperatives. Locally elected from among the consumer-owners of the cooperative, most have no previous experience with the utility business. The duties of directors are outlined in state statute and the co-op articles of incorporation and bylaws. The duties of a director include obedience, diligence and loyalty; summed up as director “fiduciary duties.”

The fundamental responsibility is to be engaged, informed and faithful fiduciaries and gatekeepers, protecting the long-term interests of members (stockholders) and other important constituencies, including regulators, employees, customers and the public. Being engaged and acting on an informed basis requires directors to understand the operations, financial model and strategy for the electric cooperative.

Credentialed Cooperative Director (CCD) certification program provides electric cooperative directors with the foundation of knowledge needed to effectively provide leadership. The CCD certificate is awarded upon completion of five courses in the 2600-level curriculum and a learning assessment for each. We recommend board members earn this credential during their first three-year term on the board of directors. MREA offers the full five-course program every two years.

Directors who have earned their CCD certificate are eligible to earn the NRECA BLC. This certificate is earned by completing a total of 10 credits from the 900-level courses. These courses are designed to be “challenger” workshops on key current issues.

MREA offers several National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) board leadership certificate (BLC) courses annually.

In addition to these national courses, MREA offers industry updates during our membership meetings and conferences. Please see our event schedule and descriptions for details.

Leadership training

MREAs leadership training is unique in that it combines AchieveForum’s award-winning corporate leadership modules with a curriculum designed specifically for the rural electric cooperative industry.

The program certification includes 17 individual modules designed to be completed by attending four consecutive, two-day sessions typically offered twice each per year. The Basic Principles: Building Trust Under Pressure is a prerequisite for all other modules. Subsequent modules may be taken in any sequence.


The Rural Electric Management Association (REMA) provides education and training for its members by investigating, compiling and disseminating information that is critical for effectively managing rural electric cooperatives. Organized under MREA, REMA has five sections: CEOs, finance managers, member services, line superintendents and engineers & operations. Each section has a board comprised of member representatives from MREA’s seven districts, which plan the section’s events.

Sections are comprised of dues-paying members from cooperatives in Minnesota and surrounding states. Membership allows the co-op to send one individual to the REMA conferences throughout the year. To register, or learn more, please see our event, schedule, and descriptions.

  • Membership dues cover the cost of attendance for one co-op representative per section for all conferences held throughout the year.
  • Most sections hold two conferences annually.
  • Additional attendees from REMA member cooperatives, and co-op attendees from North Dakota and Wisconsin, are billed separately.
  • Some REMA sections invite vendor members and non-REMA members to participate in their conferences and are billed separately.

Join a member community

Join and network, post on the password protected community forum or download a recent conference presentation from your community group:

CEO member community
Engineer and operations manager member community
Finance manager member community
Line superintendent member community
Member services member community