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Tree care companies are hiring, with union benefits

Big need for 'line clearance tree trimming' workers as industry faces retirements
Posted: 4:11 PM, May 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-29 17:49:06-04
ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — Hiring 716 is WKBW's new initiative committed to highlighting job opportunities, challenges and success stories in Western New York. Learn more at Hiring716.com

Did you know tree workers are in hot demand this season? The jobs provide a strong starting wage and union benefits as well.

'Wanted - tree care industry workers' - that's the shout out from tree service companies at this open house and career fair in Orchard Park.

Tree workers clear trees and branches away from power lines and work after damaging storms.

Timothy Daley, business agent, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 41 tells 7 Eyewitness News there's a big need for line clearance tree trimming workers because a lot of members are aging out.

The union works with several tree contractors who conduct work across the state.

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Ronald Langhorn of Buffalo filling out an application at Tree Care.

We found Ronald Langhorn of Buffalo filling out an application for a job at Tree Care of New York. The former construction worker is eager to work in a job that's considered very dangerous.

"Danger is something that necessarily doesn't scare me – I've done roofing - I've taken shingles up with two story roof without a harness which i s not supposed to happen – so being that they are safety warranted – being that they are unionize is actually more assuring to me," remarked Langhorn.

Langhorn is enticed by the high starting wage of $17 an hour, plus a union pension and health care benefits. Tree care business manager Jordan Jozak said they're looking for people who want not just a job, but a career.

"This is incredibly lucrative because some one could walk out of high school at 18-years old – come into a range where they are going to make $70,000 – potentially $100,000 - full pension, full benefits and have no student debt," explained Jozak.

"There's a tremendous of openings in this industry and all over the country," said Scott Beicke, president, Tree Care of New York.

Beicke also noted they're starting to see more and more younger workers step forward, including women.

"As hard as it is, we are finding more women coming in to it. We've recently hired a couple on our team that climb trees and do this type of work," Beicke stated.

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Tree Care of New York worker trimming branches in Orchard Park.

Tree care leaders emphasized they provide all the essential safety training for employees.

Now that Ronald Langhorn has filled out his application - his next step is to get a commercial drivers license so he can operate a truck. If he gets hired, he's excited of the potential financial stability in his life.

"Oh most definitely - better wages, better benefits," declared Langhorn.

"The typical union salary would start out somewhere in the $17 an hour range with a $10 an hour package on top of that - that's what the union provided - pension and health care," Beicke said.

Not only will a company, like Tree Care, give you the proper training, but they'll also provide the equipment needed to do the job. Click here for more application information at Tree Care.