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The North Family Generation at BWL


man leaning against coal car

Putting on little work boots and safety gear in the 80’s to go experience the BWL coal handler life with his grandpa, Harold North, Jarod North knew someday he wanted to become one himself. As he was taught how to run the equipment and get his hands dirty in the black, thick coal, his love for the work grew deeper.  

With BWL’s Erickson Power Station coming offline on 2022, there’s a story to tell about how it started and ended with the North family. 

The North family has a three-generation streak of hard-working BWL employees. Harold North, the first coal handler to unload a coal car at Erickson Power Station, set the right tone for his son and grandson to begin their careers here. His son, Jeff North, worked in maintenance for several departments while at BWL. He started at the Ottawa Power Station and then was a supervisor at the Dye Water plant to end his 35-year career.  

Jarod’s little work boots quickly turned into bigger ones when he started at the BWL in 2000 as a coal handler. He has always enjoyed running the equipment and being in that field of work. Knowing he won’t be in the coal industry anymore was a touching ending. 

“As I unloaded the last coal car and knowing my grandpa unloaded the first, it was very bittersweet for me. It brought back a lot of memories as a kid running around out here with my grandpa, as well as carrying on our generation of being coal handlers,” says Jarod. 

Erickson retiring has hit home for many people, but for the North family it’s the end of a generational career.