Pilot Operator

Number of employees


Albany, NY, United States

Posted on: 2023-10-19

Category: materials

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

Ecovative uses biology to solve fundamental human needs at industrial scales and in consumer applications. Ecovative uses mycelium to grow category defining products ranging from leather like textiles to sustainable packaging to high performance foams for apparel and beauty. Ecovative has been widely recognized for its technical and environmental contributions by organizations like the World Economic Forum and in the media including Wired Magazine, Forbes, and Time.

Bring your skills and passion to the Ecovative Design team! At Ecovative we build biological systems, explore uncharted science, and celebrate manufacturing rooted in Nature. The company seeks team members who are bold, curious and imaginative. The brand's greatest strength is the team's diversity. Each person brings unique backgrounds and talents that are fostered in a collaborative, challenging and creative culture.

The pilot operator runs specialized machinery to supply living mushroom materials to Ecovative's licensed manufacturers for further processing into products such as mushroom protective packaging, and edible mushroom products.  This role works as part of a small team dedicated to operating these production systems with efficiency and accuracy to standard operating procedures.  The pilot operations team is responsible for all stages of manufacturing of these products, including receiving, transporting, and storing materials, preparing workspaces and equipment, operating specialized production equipment, conducting thorough end-of-day cleaning, and performing quality checks on work in process and finished goods.

The central tasks of this role are routine but require engaged team members to ensure the reliability of the production system.  Successful production operators are highly collaborative by nature and driven by continuous improvement of their assigned processes, including adopting 5S and Lean manufacturing practices. They also have strong attention to detail and can identify quality issues related to both process and product and seek to resolve these issues quickly and effectively.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Operates employing a safety-first mindset
  • Operate production equipment with strict adherence to standard operating procedures
  • Set up production processes by collecting and arranging materials and equipment
  • Clean production tools and equipment daily both before and after the operation
  • Operate within a clean environment and with clean handling practices, including wearing protective gowning
  • Safety #1 priority mindset and actively points out ways to improve safety on the job
  • Troubleshoot standard production tools and equipment to ensure proper performance is achieved
  • Perform recurring preventative maintenance on production equipment, facilities, and grounds
  • Elevate maintenance issues to engineering and facilities teams when appropriate
  • Safely operate a powered lift truck and powered pallet jack
  • Has a strong quality mindset and consistently checks work and product for deviations
  • Collect standardized production data throughout operations including set points, yield, and other metrics relevant to quality
  • Identify biological contamination and morphological characteristics using visual observation
  • Actively contributes to continuous improvement through Lean Manufacturing and 5S principles
  • Develop operations checklists as on-the-floor SOP compliance tools
  • Assist in the documentation of new and updated processes through SOP revisions
  • Contribute to the training of new team members to ensure compliance with company SOPs
  • Contribute to team meetings and daily huddles
  • Able to communicate effectively in written and verbal formats
  • Prepare and present an agenda before regular meetings with the supervisor
  • Develop development goals to improve skills and knowledge relevant to their role or career
  • Demonstrates alignment with Ecovative’s Company values of Kindness, Growth, Teaching, Exploration, Courage, Agency, and Stewardship

Minimum Qualifications and Competencies

  • HS diploma or equivalent
  • Experience working as part of a small team
  • 1-3 years experience in manufacturing, production, or food preparation is preferred
  • Capable of using computer applications such as Gmail and Slack for communication, and Microsoft Office for file sharing, note taking, and data collection
  • Safety conscious within an efficiency-driven production environment, does not cut corners
  • Able to maintain a clean workspace and work hygienically while operating
  • Must be comfortable with heights up to 10ft, including on elevated platforms and ladders
  • Must be capable of lifting 50lbs
  • Must be able to complete repetitive manual labor for up to 8 hours a day
  • Capable of performing repetitive tasks while remaining engaged and thinking critically through a process
  • Strong observational skills and attention to detail
  • Independently motivated toward supporting teammates, finding opportunities to be proactive, and assisting in unfinished work
  • Ability to work mandatory overtime on occasion
  • Able to give and receive feedback in a productive manner

Pay range for this role based on candidates skills and experience starts at $18/hr-$22/hr. 

Excited? So Are We!

What You’ll Love About Us:

  • Fantastic Team Culture. Innovative team with diverse interests (from artists to off-grid living).
  • Excellent Benefits. Health, dental, vision, retirement, EAP, PTO, tuition reimbursement
  • Time to Connect. Earth Day community work, retreats, holiday events, pie day, costume competitions, pumpkin carving, outings, food, etc. 

Ecovative is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Ecovative Design
70 Cohoes Ave. Suite 103
Green Island, NY 12183

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