This position manages the Distribution and Transmission line clearing portion of the 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. They must assure that all line clearing 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 Energy 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.
This position has responsibility for the direction, coordination and evaluation of employees in their respective customer service unit. This person is expected to perform supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring and training; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
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 manager in the development of all reports necessary to respond to the Florida Public Service Commission annual updates for vegetation management.
Manage and oversee the overall operations of the line clearing vegetation management unit; monitor performance of contract crews and/or sub-contractors; perform observations of work procedures and validate work performed.
Administer the line clearing VM and associated contracts in accordance with company policies. Monitor, evaluate, and manage line clearing VM contractor performance. Ensure line clearing VM contractor safety, quality, customer service, and productivity meet or exceed goals and that contractors are pursuing continuous improvement.
Ensure compliance with all local, state and federal laws and regulations concerning the trimming and removal of trees and the application of herbicides.
Maintain records of activities and generate monthly reports to track line clearing production, tree removal, herbicide application, etc. and provide to appropriate management and departments.
Provide on-going reports of projects, priorities and budget status to management.
Conduct studies and evaluate 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.
Assist in the preparation of competitive bidding documents for project work; perform analysis and clarify bids and participate in award recommendation.
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.
Conduct 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.
Be 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.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, arboriculture, forestry, or a related field of study.
Must have been in a leadership capacity for at least 2-years providing direct oversight to electric utility personnel and / or subcontractors.
Possess a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Pesticide Certification Office or ability to obtain within one (1) year of job award.
Minimum four (4) years’ of vegetation management experience in the electric utility industry or six (6) years of electric utility experience in Transmission & Distribution.
ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist or ability to obtain within three (3) years of job award unless approved by the VP of Operations.
Note: The equivalent of six years of directly related experience in the forestry/arboricultural industry with a high school diploma or GED may be considered in lieu of degree.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
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 basic financial planning, forecasting and analysis skills in order to be proficient in developing budgets, forecasting expenditures and managing workload to meet budgetary requirements.
Working knowledge of ANSI Z133-2012 Safety Standard and ANSI A300 Pruning Standard for vegetation management.
Knowledge of the primary components and operation of an electric distribution and transmission system; OSHA regulations and code requirements.
Working knowledge of the principles and practices of right-of-way maintenance and control including herbicide and related chemical application; expertise in the design, development and evaluation of line clearance and right-of-way management consistent with local, state and federal regulations.
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.
Expertise in the design, development and evaluation of line clearing VM techniques that meet local, state and federal regulations.
Skills to create and implement tree trimming and removal specifications that moves toward, meets or is better than a 3-year trim cycle and controls cost.
Effective communications skills including written, verbal, and listening including the ability to prepare reports, business correspondence, procedures and training manuals; prepare and conduct presentations to employees, management, vendors, subcontractors, government agencies. This includes 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 skills in the 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 procedures, training manuals, reports and presentations to communicate within and outside the department and to governmental agencies and entities. As well as use the contract documents to procure labor, materials and services to complete VM objectives.
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 implement SECO Energy’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.
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.
Physical Demands and Work Environment
The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by or those an employee encounters to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Some 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.
Extensive field exposure and general office environment conditions. Normal work hours will be eight (8) hours between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Occasional business travel may be required.
Regular exposure to outside weather conditions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud.
Ability to work irregular hours for assignment completion and flexibility to change scheduling and report to work on short notice during emergency situations.
Ability to operate a variety of office equipment, including a personal computer, printers, copy machines, smart phones, and fax machine.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, talk, and hear. The employee frequently is required to walk. The employee is occasionally required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must regularly lift and/or move objects weighing up to 25 pounds on an occasional basis. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus.
About SECO Energy
SECO Energy is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving over 210,000 families and businesses across seven counties in Central Florida, making SECO the third largest electric co-op in Florida and the seventh largest in the nation.
In both 2017 and 2016, SECO Energy was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Cooperatives” in the J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. In 2015, SECO Energy was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Midsize Utilities in the South” by J.D. Power. SECO refers to the three consecutive awards as its “Triple Crown,” and we are grateful to our members for ranking us #1!