Ready to power up your career? Join our team at Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative. NOVEC’s mission is to create value for its members, employees and communities by providing safe, reliable electricity and quality products at competitive prices. If you’re ready to take your first step into a rewarding career in the utility industry with opportunities for professional growth, apply today.

About this role:

The Utility Forester is responsible for working directly with the Manager , Vegetation Management and all utility tree trimming contractors to plan, implement, and oversee the day to day activities of all utility vegetation related programs for NOVEC to help achieve the corporate system reliability, safety, and customer satisfaction objectives, to preserve right of way integrity, and to support Work Plan goals and schedules. The Utility Forester works directly in the field with customers and contractors and utilizes a variety of technology assets to monitor and evaluate work progress.

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The Utility Forester is responsible for ensuring that vegetation management contractors consistently meet NOVEC specifications and requirements for productivity and customer satisfaction.

Performs field inspections of work. Meets with and explains to customers the importance of vegetation management, and related removal of obstructions along utility right of ways, in front of meter bases and pad-mounted equipment.

Plans, implements, and monitors herbicide, and transformer painting programs, and right-of-way tree trimming maintenance activities.

Coordinates the investigation and settlement of customer right-of-way and property damage complaints and associated billing to recover restoration costs from contractors when appropriate.

Schedules, assigns and monitors the daily activities of NOVEC Utility Tree Trimming Contractors.

Schedules and inspects contractor work in support of yard repair, special projects, meter base and padmount equipment obstruction removal, pad mount equipment inspection and painting, landscaping, and facility grounds maintenance.

Responsible for inspection of contractor work and invoice approvals. Reviews, verifies, and approves invoicing by contractors to ensure accuracy and contract compliance and coordinates invoice revisions with contractors.

Helps manager Implement and monitors programs to maintain utility tree trimming, herbicide application, office and substation grounds landscaping, plus a wide range of special projects as part of right of way maintenance.

Works effectively to complete work assignments, tracks performance management, goals and objectives, and compliance with company policies and procedures.

Must also be responsive and effectively communicate with customers with a very high level of customer sensitivity to achieve a high level of customer understanding and satisfaction consistent with NOVEC’s customer satisfaction goals and objectives.

Works with manager and develops goals, monitors, and evaluates the performance of all NOVEC Vegetation Contractors.

Works with the manager to prepare bid specifications, solicits bids, screens potential contractors, and makes recommendations for contracts to maintain NOVEC rights of way, and facility grounds at all NOVEC offices, substations, and any other NOVEC-owned property.

Works continually towards self-development to stay current on landscaping, rights-of-way technology applications, customer service, as well as supervisory procedures and practices.

Education and Experience:

An associate’s degree in forestry, agriculture, natural resources, or related field from an accredited institution is required. A bachelor’s degree in forestry from an accredited institution is preferred.

A Certified Arborist designation from the International Society of Arboriculture is required. A Certified Utility Arborist designation from the International Society of Arboriculture is preferred.

Must become a Virginia category 6 herbicide applicator within 1 year.

2-4 years of related experience including utility or residential tree trimming, landscaping, or consulting utility forestry required.

Related experience and/or proven training in general landscaping, directional pruning for line clearance, herbicidal treatment programs, contract procedures, contract administration, and utility tree trimming inspection is also required.

Skills and Abilities:

Demonstrated ability to function independently in a multi-task environment, as well as part of a team.

Demonstrated knowledge of all company policies and procedures as well as all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Demonstrated knowledge of and results in industry tree trimming standards, electrical safety specifications, line clearance specifications, pesticide regulations, and the policies and legal issues relating to easements and utility hazards.

Demonstrated working knowledge of electrical distribution systems as applied to Right of Way, landscaping, and tree trimming/ removal programs.

Demonstrated knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles and mathematical skills.

Demonstrated knowledge of general tree and shrub identification, growth habits and structural strength as related to location near utility lines.

Demonstrated knowledge of tree risk assessment.

Demonstrated proficiency with general computer operation, and Microsoft Office and other relevant software applications.

Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with all levels within the organization.

Demonstrated organization skills as well as demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Demonstrated ability in estimating right-of-way clearance costs, administering utility line clearance programs, and performing line clearance inspections.

Demonstrated ability in reading and understanding general engineering plans; utilizing map databases and customer information systems, and scaling maps for mileage conversions and cost calculations.

Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities.

Ability to think ahead and plan over a short and long-term focus.

Ability to think outside the box in an ever-changing outdoor environment.

Must be able and available to work weekends, holidays, evenings, nights, and other times outside of standard work hours to assist in service restoration, emergencies that may arise, and necessary business operations.

Must possess a valid driver’s license, acceptable driving record, and be able to operate company pool vehicles as necessary.

What We Offer:

  • Competitive pay
  • Premier health benefits, including an onsite wellness center
  • Survivor and disability benefits
  • 401(k) retirement plan with a 4% base salary match and an additional match of your contribution at a rate of 50% up to the first 12%
  • Life insurance
  • Vacation, Sick and Holiday Leave
  • Educational Assistance
  • Annual company events