This is a position of great responsibility, tasked with the overall operational supervision of every aspect of each day’s projects, as well as managing safety, discipline, training, and partner relationships – all with the highest standards of professionalism, confidence, and integrity. The Ecological Restoration Division Crew Chief is expected to lead, coordinate and train permanent and temporary staff to implement annual land management schedules, including invasive species control, seed collection and distribution, transplanting, fire management and monitoring to restore and maintain native species and habitat diversity, primarily within Cook County’s Forest Preserve District’s land system. This work involves liaison with prime contractors or directly with municipal and corporate clients when Semper Fi is prime or only contractor. Crew chief performs supervisory duties, including time tracking, distribution of labor, managing staff, correcting safety issues. Position reports to Ecological Restoration Division Manager.
· Ability to lead, train, and motivate others.
· Ability to research and synthesize information for trouble shooting, problem solving and making recommendations.
· Ability to operate a variety of power tools and equipment safely and train others in same.
· Understanding of herbicides and chemicals.
· Understanding of restoration burn techniques.
· Ability to assess a job site and work patterns for safe operations.
· General knowledge of OSHA safety requirements.
· Knowledge of environmental conservation skills and basic environmental education
· Knowledgeable of specialty planting requirements, including the layout of habitat types and the planting of unique individual plant species.
· Ability to perform a wide variety of heavy manual labor for extended periods of time, and often under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
· Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with prime contractors, staff members, client staff, and the general public.
· Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
· Ability to understand and follow Semper Fi systems and processes including supervisor key responsibilities.
· Ability to work and engage trust with a diverse population of people.
· Ability to structure work to ensure meeting time constraints.
· Sustained performance in previous positions.
· Good driving record (when driving).
· Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Spanish speaking a plus.
· Has to obtain and maintain a valid IDOA Applicator License
· Basic computer skills required (including MS Word, MS Excel, and Outlook email)
· 290 certification and Burn Boss certification a plus
Key Functions & Responsibilities
Non-inclusive list of responsibilities and role functions:
· Leading and training team, potential on more than one work site concurrently, primarily working on ecological restoration projects. Take the opportunity to recognize positive contributions as they occur. Correct performance issues as they occur; be tactful and respectful when conveying corrections.
· Take responsibility for all activities – identify and resolve issues & mistakes. Engage Semper Fi Management or Prime Contractors when necessary.
· Meet with customers for site assessments; participate in assessment and work assignment discussions.
· Hold morning tailgate meetings to review safety checklist; ensure all team members are ready and able to work assigned jobs.
· Be aware of what is going on throughout a job site: ensure the proper and safe use of equipment, make corrections as soon as improper or safe usage is known.
· Communicate work site, start times, site changes, crew assignments, and PPE needs daily.
· Restoring forest health and reducing safety risks through tree thinning using powered equipment & controlled burns; constructing and maintaining trails; constructing and maintaining fences and outdoor facilities; maintaining public park space and recreation areas; planting (trees, grasses, natural and decorative plants, etc.), conducting native plant revegetation, and eradicating exotic plant species; conducting ecological testing and monitoring; and other functions as required.
· Be aware of weather forecast and recognize changes in weather: re-work assignments as necessary to accommodate weather (e.g., do not mix chemicals when rain is imminent, do not conduct burns if high winds are predicted or apparent, etc.)
· When weather halts or delays work, Crew Chiefs report to the shop or office for assignments, as determined by immediate manager or other leadership team member.
· Arranging details of transportation, requirements for job site equipment and supplies, and distributing labor resources effectively across job sites.
· Arranging for educational opportunities and working with HR to conduct OSHA training.
· Maintaining (cleaning & inspecting) and repairing, or arranging for the repair of, hand and power tools and other equipment on a daily basis. Ready equipment at the end of each day: Be ready for tomorrow today.
· Train, or arrange the training of, crew members on operations, tool usage, and safety. Training responsibilities include mixing packs and plant identification during growing season; proper use of burn tools in the burn season, fire rakes, pulaskis, flappers, and water packs; plus proper and safe use of chainsaws and brush cutters for felling trees and cutting brush.
· Completing all project paperwork timely and completely, such as daily or weekly reports, work-time records, attendance & tardiness reports, accident/incident reports, and any other reports or informational communications as requested.
· Arranging for the replacement of any equipment, supplies, or parts needed on the job sites.
· Other functions as required or directed by manager and company principals
Scope & Essential Functions
· Travel to worksites is required; must have reliable personal transportation.
· Required to have experience/knowledge of typical field crew tasks including planting, weeding, herbicide application, erosion control, and burn procedures.
· Must be able to stoop, stand and bend for extended periods of time and work on uneven and/or difficult terrain, in standing or flowing water, and in environments of fluctuating temperatures.
· Must be able to walk around uneven ground on job sites to conduct safety assessments of equipment, materials, and operations for OSHA standards.
· Must be able to keep a level head and good attitude under stress.
· Must be able to lift and carry 50 lbs. for up to 4 hours at a time for an entire field shift in a day with only brief breaks.
· Must be able to spend extended periods of time walking and standing for up to 4 hours at a time for an entire field shift in a day with only brief breaks.
· Should know basic first aid, first aid certification is a plus.