Why you should join our team
The System Operator Trainee will be trained through an intensive, 12 to 14-month program to operate the VELCO electrical transmission system in a safe, reliable, and efficient manner. The Trainee will be assigned a combination of eight and twelve-hour periods, days and nights, and is expected to participate beyond scheduled periods when exposure to real-time system events are available or as needed to complete assigned tasks and maintain pace. At the completion of the training program and after successfully passing a comprehensive final examination, the System Operator Trainee shall be qualified as a System Operator and transitioned into the System Operator shift schedule. As a provider of essential service, regular and reliable performance and the ability to work beyond normally scheduled hours will be an essential requirement for the position.
How you will make an impact
- Ensure at all times that the VELCO transmission system is operated in accordance with operating guidelines while maintaining compliance with applicable requirements.
- Regulate power flows and voltage profiles in accordance with procedures.
- Manage the interconnected electric system within VT during normal and emergency conditions and take necessary actions to return the system to a reliable state in coordination with interconnected utilities.
- Direct planned and unplanned outages of transmission system equipment including the issuance of switching orders for working clearance and permission.
- Log various system events and activities to include the creation of various reports.
- Review switching plans and supporting documentation for completeness and readiness.
- Perform analysis of the Vermont interconnected electric systems using the EMS power flow tool and develop mitigation plans for potential contingencies that would otherwise violate operating limits.
- Effectively use SCADA, data historian, and other relevant tools to analyze, troubleshoot, and communicate system events to support staff as necessary.
- Maintain working knowledge of VELCO and ISO-NE operating documents and NERC and NPCC requirements.
- Maintain a valid NERC certification by participating in the continuing training plan for all VELCO System Operators.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Operations or Manager of Control Center Operations.
Successfully complete the VELCO System Operator Initial Training Program within the expected timeframe:
- Online and in-person training required to obtain a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Transmission Operator (TO) certification in accordance with applicable requirements.
- Participate, under the direction of a qualified VELCO System Operator, in daily operations of the power system.
- Develop skills necessary to use the VELCO Energy Management System (EMS) and become competent in its operation including the performance of real-time assessments and system studies.
- Develop a working knowledge of the electrical transmission system including transmission lines, substations, telecommunications, and additional components required to monitor and control the VELCO transmission system.
- Become competent on applications used for data entry, logging, reporting, investigating, verifying, and data exchange.
- Complete field assignments with VELCO personnel to develop working knowledge of work performed in support of transmission, substation, and telecommunication job functions.
- Develop a working knowledge of VELCO transmission paths and their impact on the interconnected transmission system.
The training program consists of the following milestones:
- NERC TO Certification study and testing – two months.
- VELCO On-The-Job-Training and verification of defined tasks – seven to ten months. (Cumulative time: nine to twelve months).
- VELCO Job Shadowing with a qualified VELCO System Operator, one to two months. (Cumulative time: ten to fourteen months).
- Final testing for qualification as a VELCO System Operator within fourteen months.
Existing knowledge, experience, and familiarity of the training program content may accelerate progress. Failure to maintain expected pace may result in disciplinary action up to termination of employment.
Following the successful completion of the training program, culminating with testing requirements relating to the training content, the Trainee will become a qualified VELCO System Operator.
Who you are
A minimum of an Associate’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology or equivalent training within a related field is required. Three plus years in the electrical industry is highly desired.
Required knowledge and skills include:
Superior verbal and written communication skills are essential. The ability to multi-task and make timely decisions is an absolute must. Analytical and problem solving skills are necessary to guide in troubleshooting is needed. Proficient use of business related office applications incusing Microsoft Office Word and Excel. Must be highly motivated with the ability to work independently with minimal direction during and following the qualification program.
Must be willing, and able, to work 12-hour rotating shifts, have and maintain a valid driver’s license and live within thirty-minutes of the primary operating location in Rutland, VT. Occasional travel within VT and New England may be required (typically up to 5 days per year) to participate in training activities.
VELCO’s commitment to our employees
- Paid Time Off – Everyone needs time off to recharge. New employees are frontloaded with prorated time off dependent upon date of hire
- Sick Leave – We advocate for staying home when you are sick
- Paid Holidays – We observe 11 paid company holidays
- Medical – Select from two comprehensive health plans. Employees have access to a Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account. We allow documented Domestic Partners on our plans
- Dental & Vision – Offers a wide range of covered services
- Wellness Program – Allows you to receive up to $100 per year for reimbursement of approved wellness expenses
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – Aids with mental health, stress management, work-life balance, financial and legal matters, and much more
- 401K – We offer a very generous employer match and profit share contribution
- Short Term Incentive Bonus – VELCO proudly offers a yearly incentive bonus based on individual contributions and key performance indicators
- Life Insurance – VELCO paid life insurance and supplemental coverages are available
- Starting pay will be determined at the time of offer based on the experience, education, and training of the successful candidate.
- Eligible applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
- Any offer of employment will be contingent upon successful reference check, background check, physical examination, drug screening, and documentation of Covid-19 vaccination
- VELCO is an Equal Employment Opportunity & Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran
The Fine Print
The position requires long periods of intense systems monitoring while seated or standing, which require visual acuity and ability to keyboard. Must be able to maintain focus for extended periods while completing complex work, in potentially highly stressful situations, with competing priorities, within tight timelines and with frequent interruptions. Must be highly reliable (operators “hotseat” meaning that on-shift operators cannot leave until next operator arrives), prompt, able/willing to drive to work even in extreme weather conditions and be able to work additional hours when necessary.
Who VELCO is
VELCO sits at an inflection point of dynamic innovation in an industry undergoing transformation. Our core responsibility to operate a safe and reliable electric transmission system for Vermonters has not changed. How we fulfil that responsibility, however, changes regularly with the evolution of the system we operate and the dynamic demands of the customers we serve. These conditions require that VELCO remain unshakably focused on operational excellence today while anticipating the capabilities we will need to thrive tomorrow. Likewise, the successful System Operator Trainee will have the capabilities to meet today’s responsibilities while having the foresight and learning orientation to anticipate VELCO’s needs well into the future.
The System Operator Trainee at VELCO is a trusted partner excited to help us realize our Vision to create a sustainable Vermont through our people, assets, relationships and operating model. The System Operator Trainee is someone innately committed to fulfilling our Mission to serve as a Trusted Partner by passionately living our TRUST values (Treating each other with respect; Responding with urgency; Unconditionally supporting one another; Sharing information; and Thinking outside the box).
VELCO is committed to taking meaningful action to provide equitable access to underrepresented and underserved members of our communities and to holding ourselves accountable for creating a workforce that is more representative and responsive to people of all backgrounds. We recognize the need to work within our communities to attract, train, and retain the next generation of skilled workers and to meaningfully diversify our workforce at all levels. By working closer within our communities to ensure women and underrepresented members of our community are aware of and can take advantage of the high-quality jobs available within our industry, we will be doing our part towards the development of a stronger and more resilient utility sector. To make this happen, we are committed to expanding our applicant pools, investing in the education and training of our workforce, and continuing our focus on a corporate culture that is welcoming, respectful, supportive, safe, and empowering to all.