Xinjiang team wins the country's highest labor award

2024-05-22 18:17:59China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Thanks to their spirit and pursuit of excellence in their work, a team of young people dedicated to the construction and operation of the power grid in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has been awarded the nation's highest labor honor.

The work team members were awarded the title "National Worker Pioneers" by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions in late April. The team, which consists of 20 people, works for the department that is responsible for facility management and maintenance at the Xinjiang Fukang Pumped Storage Power Plant of the State Grid Xinyuan Group.

Another 1,033 work teams or organizations also received the honor.

"I thought Xinjiang was a backwater region and worried about having trouble adapting to life here before I came here for college and work," said Yu Yihe, a 25-year-old woman from Liaoning province who joined the company in July 2021 after graduating that year from Shihezi University in Xinjiang.

Being the youngest and one of the team's few female members, Yu said it took time for her to get used to working and living here.

"I was very nervous about working in the facilities at first, because I thought I might not know how to handle the problems. I learned a lot from my colleagues by asking them questions and watching their operations," she said.

"I love my job, not only because it's closely related to my college major, but also because I have found my value in the work. Whenever I spot a malfunction and clear it, I feel like I'm Sherlock Holmes!"

Yu said that she has a strong sense of belonging when she works with her colleagues, who are also around her age.

Zuo Jian, director of the department, said that for him, living and working in Xinjiang has been worthwhile. Zuo, 38, came to the company in December 2021 after working in China's northeastern provinces for 11 years.

"It's a painstaking job, but I'm proud of what my team and I have done. The power plant is Xinjiang's first pumped storage power plant, which can function as a 'power bank' to help store excess power generated by a neighboring solar power plant or wind power station," he said.

He said that his wife and their 8-year-old child have moved to Xinjiang from Jilin province, his former working place, to be with him.

"We plan to stay in Xinjiang for a long time. The region is so beautiful and has a lot of potential that has yet to be tapped," Zuo said, adding that he is also proud to be participating in China's development.

"I'm always inspired by some edgy technological or scientific achievement our nation has reached. I think my generation has a responsibility to contribute to the nation's development," he said. "I'm proud that my team has a spirit of persistence and a strong enthusiasm for the job."

Having worked at the company for almost six years, 28-year-old He Wenbo said he has honed his skills on the job and has become a better person in the process.

"The tougher environment has made me more strong willed," he said. "I was told that Xinjiang was less developed before I came here, but the region has made great progress over the years. The central government has also channeled so many resources to the region's construction, and I think this is where I need to be for my future career," he said.

He said that the members of the team are all rather young — with an average age of 28 — so it's inevitable that they'll have challenges on the job.

"But we young people have the will to overcome our problems, and we usually gather with senior technicians or engineers from other departments to figure out practical solutions," he said.

He said that all the members of the department cherish the honor they've received from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which will encourage them to continue contributing to the nation's border development.

The Xinjiang Fukang Pumped Storage Power Plant started construction in April 2017, and will begin full operation in August. It will generate 2.6 billion kilowatt-hours per year, which can reduce coal consumption by 165,000 metric tons and carbon emissions by 496,000 tons a year.

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