Why you should join our team
Assist in the development, implementation and administration of our Right-of-Way Vegetation programs (approximately 13,000 acres of transmission rights-of-way), to provide a safe and reliable transmission system. Serve as a liaison to VELCO’s stakeholders, act as a partner with various environmental entities and be responsible for work plan coordination, monitoring and reporting performance measures. Supervise contractor field activities and ensure compliance.
How you will make an impact
- Plan, implement, and oversee the vegetation management program for the transmission system.
- Conduct hazard tree, threat tree, and vegetation inventories by assessing vegetation conditions and prescribing required maintenance utilizing GIS data collection tools.
- Ensure Vegetation Management Programs are in compliance with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) FAC-003 Vegetation Management standards as well as other applicable state and federal environmental rules and regulations.
- Provide guidance and technical expertise and serve as a Subject Matter Expert to internal and external personnel during routine maintenance, capital projects and emergency restoration.
- Train contractors and employees in VELCO’s Integrated Transmission Vegetation Management Program (TVMP), environmental best management practices and other company right-of-way vegetation management standards.
- Assist in preparing accurate budget estimates, contract specifications, and administer contracts for routine vegetation management and capital projects.
- Administer and implement other vegetation and pesticide programs and contracts as needed.
- Manage all field activities to ensure bid specifications, guidelines, and annual work plans are followed to ensure quality and productivity are achieved in accordance with VELCO’s TVMP and state and federal regulations (NERC FAC-003).
- Serve as a company representative to landowners and the public for inquiries related to the Vegetation Management Program, particularly with regard to herbicides.
- Prepare herbicide permit applications to Vermont (and other states as necessary) Pesticide Advisory Council and Commissioner of Agriculture’s office. Ensure that VT Agency of Agriculture and Public Service Board (PSB) 3.6 Regulations are followed.
- Notify and obtain permission for vegetation clearing and/or tree pruning/removal by establishing contact with private/public landowners and government agencies.
- Inspect work sites to ensure contractors comply with all company safety rules and policies, OSHA 1910.269, and ANSI Z133 Safety Standards. Participate in incident reviews, learning opportunity reviews, audits, etc.
- Maintain records and report on vegetation management activities and associated usage and costs as required by PSB 3.6 and VT Agency of Agriculture regulations.
- Implement and oversees approved aesthetic mitigation plans and new capital clearing plans.
- Implement other projects or programs that serve to advance VELCO’s vegetation management program.
- Work with various environmental partners, wildlife management organizations, towns, and other entities to enhance vegetation management programs.
- Participate/engage with peers in industry events and outreach opportunities.
- May perform as crewmember in helicopter vegetation patrol flights.
- Proactively manage customer issues acting as the liaison to key community individuals, local, state, and official agencies to comply with regulations and cooperatively manage concerns related to contracting operations.
- Maintain a high level of customer satisfaction in contracting activities through swift response and resolution of customer issues.
- Maintain right-of-way and vegetation management records using GIS, spreadsheets, and other software programs.
- Be available on “call in” basis outside normal work hours in accordance with schedule developed with Department Manager.
- Occasional assistance with storm restoration and emergency response as directed.
- Other duties as assigned.
Who you are
To thrive in this role, you must have:
- An Associate’s degree in Arboriculture, Forestry, or other related Environmental degree. Bachelor’s degree is preferred. A combination of relevant experience and education will be considered.
- Will have or possess the ability to obtain certifications such as International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, Utility Specialist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). Also expected to obtain and maintain a Vermont State Herbicide Applicator’s License.
- Will have, or the ability to obtain, First Aid, AED, CPR certifications.
- Minimum 2 years of demonstrated, relevant experience with utility vegetation management.
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.
- 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
- Required knowledge of arboriculture, tree taxonomy, local tree growth rates, pesticide use, plant community ecology, herbicides, tree pathology, horticulture, right-of-way procedures and regulations, engineering technology, electric transmission and distribution operations, Integrated Vegetation Management, and construction practices.
- Knowledge of utility infrastructure and its associated environmental and vegetation impacts.
- Good written and verbal communication skills.
- Organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite and ability to learn new software.
- Working knowledge of GIS.
- Ability to interpret LiDAR data, aerial imagery.
- Able to use hand held data collection devices.
- Proficient in map navigation skills.
- Ability to operate ¾ ton 4WD truck/trailer combination 20k-40k miles/yr.
- Able to perform public speaking and outreach as needed, pertaining to Integrated Vegetation Management and VELCO’s ROW program.
- Must maintain a valid driver’s license and may need DOT medical card for interstate travel. Must be able to drive for several hours a day.
- Must be able to physically access VELCO’s facilities and properties, which includes ability to walk/hike in rugged and variable terrain for several miles per day, ability to work in all weather conditions, and ability to operate ATV/UTV and 4×4 vehicles in remote and difficult terrain.
- Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds, be able to operate chainsaws and other hand tools and withstand strenuous activities from time to time.
- Work requires scheduled and unscheduled overtime, including early starts and long days, as well as occasional overnights. May need to respond after hours or on weekends.
- Must be able to maintain fast pace while completing complex work, with competing priorities, within tight timelines.
- When not in field must be able to withstand periods of sitting or standing at a desk while working on a computer.
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 Utility Arborist 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 Utility Arborist 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 Utility Arborist 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).
At VELCO, we believe diversity, equity, and inclusion deepen expertise, perspective, and innovation. All insights, experiences, and backgrounds are needed for a brighter energy future and to create a sustainable Vermont. We welcome all to come learn, work, and grow with us.