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Adv Forestry Specialist -Veg Mgmt, Environmental Specialist

Location: 

Akron, OH, US, 44320

Job Function:  Forestry
Employee Type:  Reg Full Time (FT)
Requisition ID:  42208

FirstEnergy at a Glance


We are a forward-thinking electric utility powered by a diverse team of employees committed to making customers’ lives brighter, the environment better and our communities stronger.
 

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, FirstEnergy includes one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, and a regulated generating fleet with a total capacity of more than 3,500 megawatts.



About the Opportunity

This is an open position with FirstEnergy Service Co., a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp.

This job is responsible for environmental compliance, corporate oversight, and program management of the Vegetation Management program throughout the FirstEnergy territory, on both Transmission and Distribution. This job is responsible for safety, environmental compliance, operational performance, training, TVM Application support, and reporting, while also ensuring compliance with the FAC-003 Vegetation Management Standard and Internal Controls.

 

NOTE: Preferred reporting location is a FirstEnergy regional headquarters, or within the FirstEnergy footprint and at a Service or Training Center location approved by the hiring manager.

 

Responsibilities:

Safety:

  • Demonstrate and direct a solid commitment to all aspects of safety as a core value

Environmental Compliance:

  • Assist in the development of a standardized Environmental Compliance Program as it relates to vegetation management activities that can support transmission and distribution across FirstEnergy systemwide with the following:
    • Assist operations in the oversight of the execution of the annual vegetation management work plan in relationship to Environmental Compliance
    • Serve as lead in maintaining, supporting, and keeping the GIS/ESRI based mapping platform up to date regarding environmental regulations, ensuring quality control and functionality of layers, data output, data accuracy, changes to prescriptions, changes to restrictions, etc.
    • This person will assist management as needed with oversight of monitoring, surveying, and flagging of Environmentally Sensitive areas
    • Development of monitoring protocols to establish baseline of biodiversity of habitat on ROW’s associated with strategic plan to enhance compatible species management practices
    • Support monitoring activities and requirements for implementation of the Candidate Conservation Assurances Agreement for the monarch butterfly
    • Ensure environmental compliance in conjunction with Environmental Department when requested on any new construction, reconductoring, or repair projects taking place on any utility lines, substations, or ROWs
    • Release Environmental impact statements, Operating Plans, etc. regarding Vegetation Management
    • Related to environmental compliance, assist in QlikView/Microsoft Power BI reporting, metrics, documentation, and quality control reviews as needed
  • Serve as the vegetation management expert to maintain Environmental Compliance with federal, state and local agency policies and regulations, including completion of required documentation in conjunction with Environmental Department with the following:
    • Monitor for changes with Federal, State, and Local Environmental Regulations and assist in preparing FE comments and position; engaging in new/current regulations as it affects the Business Unit
    • Assist with and review reports or process documentation related to Federal, State and Local Environmental Regulations such as Aquatic Use Permits, General Wetlands Permits, and Annual Reports
    • Attend meetings with Federal, State, and Local Agencies and serve as a liaison between these Agencies and FirstEnergy Environmental and Vegetation Management Departments
    • Investigate environmental violations (NOV) or issues of non-compliance and work on resolving issues and creating mitigation strategies
    • Related to vegetation management activities, coordinate with United States Fish and Wildlife Service and State Departments of Environmental Protection regarding Threatened and Endangered Species habitat locations, environmental compliance, regulation, protocol, violation, approval, or any other necessary and related reasons
    • Coordinate and monitor Phase I and II biological surveys for T&E species deemed necessary by USFWS, State DEP, or any other environmental regulatory personnel, law, or agency
    • Engage, promote, and interact in Environmental Stewardship projects
  • Assist in updating, improving, and performing operational training to lead to improved Environmental Compliance associated directly with vegetation management activities, including updating training PowerPoint presentations, agendas, and user manuals as needed with the following:
    • Coordinate and communicate with FirstEnergy employees, contractors, and subcontractors on environmental restrictions and environmental compliance measures in bid, kick-off, bi-weekly, and quarterly meetings as needed
    • Train FirstEnergy employees, contractors, and subcontractors to use Webmapper and Google Earth
    • Field observations  of vegetation maintenance crews to ensure environmental compliance is being met, using approved compliance form for maintaining records

Forestry:

  • Assist in work management software processes and reviews as necessary.
  • Maintain document control and assist with updating TVM forms, templates, talking points, and brochures related to Environmental Compliance.
  • Assist with SharePoint Site organization, updates, and reviews as needed.
  • Work with other business units as necessary, including Environmental, Real Estate, IT Solutions, Transmission Mapping, Transmission Maintenance, FERC Agreements, Transmission Reliability, Document Production, Communication Services, etc.
  • Support storm restoration activities as required, including 24-hour on-call availability.
  • This position may require periodic intercompany travel and occasional overnight stays.
  • Responsible for large geographical areas throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

 

Qualifications at Advanced Transmission Forestry Specialist level:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Environmental or related discipline (forestry or agriculture), or Associate’s degree in Forestry Science or related discipline (agriculture or environmental) along with 6 plus years of related job experience, or High School Diploma (or GED) along with 8-10 years related work experience preferred. Related work experience is utility vegetation or right of way management. International society of arboriculture, (Certified Arborist / utility specialist preferred).
  • Required to hold Environmental Certifications in specialized subjects such as Certified Wetland Delineation, Wetland Vegetation Identification, and/or endangered species certification and will be required to maintain relevant credentials for the position or obtain one within the first six months of holding the position. Specialized subjects will expand with the role.
  • ISA Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist preferred or obtain certification within the first six months of holding the position.
  • State pesticide license(s) preferred or obtain within the first six months of holding the position.
  • Strong background/experience managing field investigations associated with wetlands and wetland plant identification, watercourses, threatened/endangered species, habitat, plant and animal surveys, and general herbicide applications.
  • Field experience in utility forestry operations or related discipline preferred.
  • Strong background in urban forestry, plant identification, hazard tree evaluation, pesticide applications.
  • Excellent ability to communicate and present himself/herself in a professional manner.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to gain cooperation with internal and external customers.
  • Be able to effectively handle conflict and provide information for legal matters.
  • Understanding of overhead and underground construction methods, maintenance practices, overhead and underground construction standards, procedures, and service practices.
  • Excellent note taking and organizational skills, and the demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Technical writing skills and experience a plus.
  • Full proficiency with PC software applications which include Microsoft Office Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, and Teams.
  • Proficiency of SAP, GIS View/ESRI, QlikView/Microsoft Power BI a plus.
  • Must be self-motivated and able to multi-task with competing priorities, provide both internal and external quality customer service and demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Possess leadership qualities that allow one to provide effective guidance to others, coach others in effective decision making and facilitate meetings.
  • Understand the Company’s Accident Prevention Handbook and possess the ability to work safely.
  • Must have a personal vehicle to commute to various facilities and locations as required, possessing a valid driver’s license and insurance.
  • Possess the physical ability to perform field surveys and inspections in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to build relationships and credibility, and provide staff support to management and higher levels of professionals, as needed.
  • Demonstrated understanding of vegetation management compliance, policies, and procedures in addition to the willingness to teach, explain, and implement with others.

 

NOTE: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; Employee may perform other related duties as required to meet the ongoing needs of the organization.

 

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Benefits, Compensation & Workforce Diversity

At FirstEnergy, employees are key to our success. We depend on their talents to meet the challenges of our changing business environment. We are committed to rewarding individual and team efforts through our total rewards philosophy which includes competitive pay plus incentive compensation, a company-sponsored pension plan, 401(k) savings plan with matching employer contribution, a choice of medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance programs, as well as skills development training with tuition reimbursement. Please visit our website at www.firstenergycorp.com to learn more about all of our employee rewards programs. FirstEnergy proudly supports workforce diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. No recruiters or agencies without a previously signed contract. Unable to sponsor or transfer H-1B visas at this time.


Safety

Safety is a core value for FirstEnergy and is essential to all of our business activities. We ensure employees have the tools, information, and processes to perform their duties in a manner that assures safety for themselves, their co-workers, our customers and the public. Our goals are to provide a safe work environment, to maintain an accident-free, injury-free workplace, and to promote and maintain public safety. To meet these goals, we dedicate ourselves to achieving world-class safety standards.

Position Classification


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FirstEnergy Human Resources Team


Nearest Major Market: Akron
Nearest Secondary Market: Cleveland

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