UniSource Energy Services employs a multifaceted workforce to deliver reliable gas and electric service in a 55,000-square-mile service territory that extends across our entire state.
We employ 326 people, with offices in seven cities. Positions range from entry-level jobs, such as customer service representatives and gas service technicians, to careers in fields that require degrees, such as engineering and information technology.
“We cover such a wide area and serve such diverse roles,” said Heidi Poturalski, Manager of Employee and Labor Relations. “Many positions also require quite a bit of travel.”
Some employees support the company’s renewable energy efforts, which produce enough clean power to serve 27,000 homes. Others help customers save energy and teach first responders, contractors and residents how to stay safe around gas and electric facilities.
Meet some of our employees and learn about careers with UniSource.
Robert Kirby, Journeyman Lineman in Kingman
Robert Kirby has been a Journeyman Lineman for most of his 21 years with UniSource.
Kirby travels throughout the vast Mohave County territory, sometimes going more than 100 miles a day to install new service connections and maintain the company’s electrical facilities.
But that’s not where the name “journeyman” comes from. Instead, that title is reserved for individuals who have completed a formal apprenticeship training program in their chosen craft.
Kirby is a U.S. Army veteran who originally planned to pursue electrical engineering when he left the service. He decided to work for the local electric company instead.
“I couldn’t have known that it would turn out to be such a good job and that I’d like it so much,” Kirby said.
Diane Swigart, Planner in Prescott
When a new real estate development breaks ground in the Prescott area, Diane Swigart often is the first employee to see it. As a Planner, it’s her job to figure out where the distribution lines will go for new buildings or how to relocate pipelines to accommodate a city project.
Swigart, who has worked for UniSource for almost 14 years, starts between three and four new projects per week. At any given time, she will be working on about 30 projects.
They vary in scope and length: One subdivision with 257 lots and 30,000 feet of pipelines lasted four months. Another smaller subdivision with 26 lots and 1,000 feet of pipelines took just two weeks. She also helps coordinate responses to emergencies.
“Every job is different,” Swigart said. “It’s very interesting work.”
Steve Clarke, Construction and Maintenance Supervisor in Nogales
As a supervisor, Steve Clarke oversees both gas and electric matters. Most employees in the Santa Cruz County office are trained in both.
Clarke, who has worked for the company for about 16 years, usually starts his day around 6:30 a.m. to finish paperwork and check in with colleagues about jobs scheduled that day. Then, he goes out into the field to check on gas construction or electric meter installations.
Clarke is on call 24/7 for emergencies. At any moment, he could be summoned to repair a gas leak, respond to a fire or check on his employees at a job site.
“Every day is a challenge, but I enjoy it,” he said.
Nora Ontiveros, Executive Assistant in Flagstaff
Nora Ontiveros is responsible for a range of responsibilities in the UniSource Gas administration office, where she is in charge of the building and other duties to keep the office running.
She joined the company as a Customer Service Representative in 1999 and later switched to Special Plans, where she worked with local nonprofit agencies to help qualifying limited-income customers pay their bills.
Now, Ontiveros serves as the point person at the office. Her responsibilities range from paying invoices and taking notes at staff meetings to arranging luncheons.
Because of her varied assignments, Ontiveros has come to know many employees in Flagstaff as well as other UniSource offices.
“Being here allows me to be more engaged with people,” Ontiveros said.