Faces of Yuba Water Jason Newton, Electrician

Yuba Water Agency's electrician, Jason Newton, is part of the team that inspects and maintains the equipment that is used to deliver energy to more than 300,000 homes. Learn more about how he ensures that the agency's electrical equipment is properly taken care of and in good working order to continue to provide reliable energy to the power grid.

What do you do for Yuba Water Agency?

I work as part of the maintenance team, which consists of operators, mechanics and electricians. As an electrician, I make sure all the motors, breakers, heaters, lights, outlets, and everything electrical are maintained and in good working order. This allows the power that we harness from our hydropower plant to make it to the power grid, which then goes out to all the communities.

Have your essential duties changed due to COVID-19? If so, how?

Most of my essential duties have not changed since the virus, with the exception of there not being much new construction because of the Agency is doing its part in keeping us safe and trying to slow the spread. Because of this, I am not able to work on the larger jobs that I normally would be working on with the other electrician and craftsmen to complete. A lot of that type of work is at least a two-person job.

Photo: Newton and a couple friends enjoy a nice day out on the golf course.

What do you enjoy most about working for Yuba Water Agency?

One of the things that I really enjoy about my job here at Yuba Water is the diversity of my work. I help maintain the generators, but I also get a chance to work outside at Bullards Bar Dam, the different diversion dams and the gaging sites. I also enjoy that I get a chance to work with all the different crafts on a regular basis as well.

Newton takes a break to snap a couple photos near Yuba Water Agency's Narrows 2 Powerhouse and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Englebright Dam and Reservoir.

Tell us something about yourself that most of us don't know.

I think a lot of people know that I was in the service, but not many know what I actually did. I was a 95B, which is a Military Policeman. I spent most of my time at Fort Riley in Kansas, where I patrolled the base. I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay for six months where I helped build and maintain camps for Haitian and Cuban refugees.

Newton enjoys a drink with friends, takes a dip at a local swimming hole and enjoys a day on the golf course.

Before working here, what was the most interesting job that you had?

I don’t know what the most interesting job I’ve ever had was. I traveled through a lot of jobs before becoming an electrician. I can tell you that the job I thought was going to be the most interesting actually turned out to be terrible for me. I was a private investigator for a large company that mainly focused on workers compensation fraud. Going into it I was certain I was going to be the next Magnum P.I., minus the hair, mustache and fancy car of course. As a former Military Policeman, I thought this would be a natural fit for me. I was sorely mistaken. Sitting in a car, crouched down, observing someone do nothing all day was pretty bad, but then I had to go write up a three-page report on how they did nothing. Not the career for me.

Newton and his wife take a break while on a hike.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I just like to enjoy being present. Whether that’s going on walks with my wife, playing golf (stick/disc), or simply just doing yardwork. I really just try and enjoy the time.