Vegetation Services Specialist
Location: Sumterville, FL
General Purpose of Job
This position provides oversight for the Distribution and Transmission line clearing, work planning, herbicide application and debris hauling contractors working for SECO’s Vegetation Management Program. This position provides direction and guidance to contractor personnel on the operational execution of the vegetation management (VM) program that includes cycle and non-cycle maintenance tree trimming, tree removal and herbicide application as well as invoice processing. This position must assure that all line clearing and work planning VM work is performed in accordance with the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) guidelines and adheres to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. They measure contractor work performance across the entire SECO electrical system. The overall goal of this position is to passionately pursue the elimination of “tree caused” electrical outages in a safe, member focused, efficient and environmentally responsible way. This position must demonstrate a firm commitment to customer service as they will frequently interact with both internal and external customers.
The following includes the minimum job requirements and essential duties for this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Some job requirements may exclude individuals that cannot be reasonably accommodated or who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees.
Education and Experience
- Associate degree in Horticulture, Arboriculture, Forestry, or related field of study.
- Minimum two (2) years of vegetation management experience in the electric utility industry or four (4) years of electric utility experience in Transmission & Distribution.: ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist or ability to obtain within three (2) years from employment.
- Possess a “Commercial Applicator License” issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Pesticide Certification Office, or ability to obtain within one (1) year of employment.
- Experience or similar work with an electric utility or related industry.
Note: The equivalent of two (2) years of directly related experience in the forestry/arboricultural industry with a high school diploma or GED may be considered in lieu of degree. A minimum of four (4) years’ experience in Transmission and Distribution with a high school diploma or GED may be considered in lieu of a degree.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Possesses a working knowledge of ANSI Z133-2012 Safety Standard and ANSI A300 Pruning Standard for vegetation management.
- Ability to follow SECO’s line clearing VM program that is focused on achieving desired safety and reliability results, property owner acceptance, regulatory compliance, and being financially responsible. Always focusing on achieving a goal of “zero” tree caused electrical outages.
- The ability to work with subcontractor leadership to ensure VM programs and projects are completed safely, reliably, and according to approved work plans and procedures.
- Possess a thorough knowledge of basic and intermediate mathematics (including basic algebra) and use those skills to forecast work production, budget expenses, and perform basic business analytics. This includes performing business case analysis, cost-benefit analysis, return on investment analysis and financial impact forecasting.
- Knowledge of the primary components and operation of an electric distribution and transmission system; OSHA regulations and code requirements.
- Knowledge of basic financial planning, forecasting and analysis skills in order to be proficient in developing budgets, forecasting expenditures and managing workload to meet budgetary requirements.
- Effective communications skills including written, verbal and listening. This includes the ability to prepare reports, business correspondence, and procedures, along with preparing and conducting presentations to Employees, management, vendors, subcontractors and government agencies.
- Proven leadership skills with the ability to work under extremely high-pressure situations and remain calm, focused and professional. Must be able to make sound and rational decisions when faced with irate customers, unforeseen situations, and system emergencies always keeping safety as the number one priority.
- Demonstrated proficiency in computer operations and Microsoft Office products (i.e. Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint) along with the ability to acquire knowledge and use of applicable corporate database programs and customer information systems.
- Skilled in technical, business and conversation writing. Must be able to craft a memorandum, email and / or written correspondence that is appropriate for internal and external communications. This includes the ability to craft reports and presentations to communicate within and outside the department and to governmental agencies and entities.
- Excellent customer service orientation; effective planning, organization, prioritization and time management skills; ability to exercise good judgment, sound reasoning skills and discretion in making independent decisions commensurate with responsibilities.
- Independent judgment, sound reasoning skills and discretion to make and implement prompt decisions; effective planning, organization, and prioritization skills; and ability to effectively direct the work of others.
- Ability to effectively manage stress and pressure in a frequently changing environment and to accurately and promptly perform multiple priorities calmly and effectively in all situations.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and confidential information in accordance with established Board Policies and procedures.
- English is the primary business language. Second language in Spanish is desirable.
The skills required for this position may be verified through a combination of education, experience, interview questions, and technical skills exercise(s).
- Valid Florida driver’s license for regular driving privileges of cooperative vehicles; must have and maintain an acceptable driving record as determined by the cooperative.
- Successful completion of SECO Energy’s employment entrance examination and drug screen.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty required of the position given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of management to assign, direct and control the work of employees under supervision. The listing of essential duties and responsibilities shall not be held to exclude other duties that may be assigned based on the needs of the Cooperative.
- Actively participate in developing the annual work plan and the annual vegetation management budget; project expenses; monitor expenditures and adjust work tasks to meet budgetary requirements.
- Assist the supervisor, as needed, in the development of all departmental reports.
- Assure adherence of all VM and associated contracts in accordance with company policies. Monitor, evaluate, and provide oversight to line clearing and / or work planning VM contractor performance. Ensure contractors meet or exceed safety, quality, customer service, and productivity goals and that contractors are pursuing continuous improvement.
- Ensure compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations within the VM department.
- Assist with the record collection and track activities and generate monthly reports as directed by the supervisor.
- Assist the supervisor in evaluating contractor work being performed to determine if improvement can be made in methods, procedures or other practices.
- Project a positive public image and resolve customer complaints or concerns in a prompt and effective manner; inform customers in advance of planned projects for clearing and herbicide treatment programs.
- Must accurately process invoices for payment to subcontractors and make adjustments as necessary.
- Participate in industry associations that monitor and plan the future direction for VM and the associated contract strategies
- Conduct inspections and contractor meetings as needed, to ensure quality and accuracy. Manage production records, maintenance history and service interruption data for planning and budget forecasting and allocation.
- Occasionally act as liaison with state and local government agencies.
- Demonstrate a sense of urgency and a “can do” attitude when provided tasks and assignments from inside and outside the department.
- Actively participate in educational efforts to inform the public regarding tree-power line safety, proper placement of newly planted trees, the need for line clearing activities and professional line clearing techniques.
- Become recognized as a “Subject Matter Expert” in tree biology and pruning for utility line clearance in accordance with the “Best Management Practices for Utility Pruning” method, ISA standards and all federal, state, and local regulations including the National Electric Safety Code; complete knowledge of herbicide application and associated regulations; and safety requirements.
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