Employee News - May 1, 2019


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King County expresses gratitude for administrative professional employees 

King County celebrated its more than 2,300 administrative professional employees last week at the 4th Annual Administrative Professionals Day Recognition Event. 

This year’s event focused on the theme of “Gratitude” for the many contributions of administrative professionals to county government, and their work in helping all employees provide the best possible service to customers. 

“Often administrative professionals and those who work behind the scenes don’t always get the recognition… but we all know you make it happen,” Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer, said at the event. “Providing opportunities to not only recognize the great work that you do, but also to identify career development needs and resources for administrative professionals, is something I am passionate about.” Read more.

Pictured: Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer, talks to attendees.

Watch a video of Administrative Professionals Recognition event 

Some 250 employees attended the fourth annual Administrative Professionals Recognition Day event in the King County Courthouse April 24, and we put together a short video to commemorate the occasion. Click the image below to watch the video. 


Green Globe Awards announced for 2019 

On Earth Day, King County Executive Dow Constantine recognized 13 businesses, cities, organizations and people for the work they’re doing to protect and improve the local environment with the Green Globe Awards. The Green Globe Awards are the County’s highest honor for local environmental efforts. 

Congratulations to all those recognized! Among the recipients are three that were nominated by Wastewater Treatment Division, we appreciate their environmental stewardship efforts. Here’s a shout-out  to Salmon-Safe and Clean Lake Union, Young’s Restaurant, and World Relief Seattle! Read more.

climate awards

Employee Spotlights


Derrick Wheeler-Smith to serve as Project Director of Zero Youth Detention 

Public Health – Seattle & King County is honored to announce that Derrick Wheeler-Smith will lead the County’s ongoing work to achieve Zero Youth Detention. 

As Project Director, Wheeler-Smith will lead the implementation of the Road Map to Zero Youth Detention, which outlines strategies to lead with racial justice and further the work underway to transform the juvenile legal system. Wheeler-Smith’s background in youth empowerment makes him poised to build bridges between juvenile legal reform and the upstream community development work that schools, community groups and County-led programs are spearheading to ensure all King County youth are happy, healthy, safe and thriving. 

“I’m excited to partner in this work in ways that will break the generational cycle of jail while removing barriers to social, mental, economic and financial success,” Wheeler-Smith explained. “Zero Youth Detention is about restoring futures and moving us away from a school-to-prison pipeline and into a school-to-wealth pipeline for the historically underserved young people in our community.” Read more.



Celebrate 10 years with BBY5K!  

The Big Backyard 5K presented by Kaiser Permanente is celebrating its 10th annual event this year and there is still plenty of time to register! Lace up your sneakers and join King County Parks on Sunday, June 2 at Marymoor Park for this dog, stroller and family friendly event! You can sign up online through May 31 and in person on race weekend.  

Proceeds from the event go to benefit King County Parks. So register as an individual or team today and support Your Big Backyard! King County Employees can receive $5 off their registration by using the discount code: KC5 

Will you be ready? If this is your first race, there are a few things you should know to make it the healthiest, most fun experience possible. Read about 9 essential training tips for beginners from our partners at Kaiser Permanente Washington. Read more.

mental health

Tools and resources to support your mental health and well-being 

Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. 

King County and Balanced You support the mental health of employees in many ways. Whether you’re trying to learn more or are seeking support for yourself or loved ones, there are programs and resources available to you. View this webpage for tools to help you recharge, build resilience, and get care for mental health, substance use, and other concerns. 

Read more from Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer, about May as Mental Health Month, and how King County is using this time to raise awareness about the importance of mental health to our overall health and well-being, and to our community. 

May Day events today

Several community groups are planning rallies, marches, and other events for International Workers' Day today, May 1.

We value and respect the peaceful expression of political views and people exercising their First Amendment rights. Employees who are scheduled to work and wish to attend any of the May Day events must follow their department’s appropriate leave policies and take leave with the approval of their supervisor. For more information on your department’s leave policies, please refer to your Human Resources Manager.

May Day activities could affect traffic and transit. Be prepared for these impacts and allow extra time when you travel. Please check with your supervisor for specific information or instructions for your work unit. Any alternate work arrangements must be approved by your supervisor. Read more.


Road to Retirement class now offered in Renton! 

Are you planning to retire in the next six months? If so, join your Retirement Team for this informative two-hour class. We’ll discuss procedures and forms, medical coverage options, and pension plans, so you’ll be ready to walk out the door.  

Road to Retirement is now offered each month in two locations: the Elections office in Renton and the Chinook Building in Seattle. Registration is required. Use the green Register button, then select the date and location. 

To learn more before the class, go the Retirement page and read the Retirement Guide. 

Please note, attendance is strictly voluntary, on your own time, and non-work related. For more information, contact King County Benefits, Payroll and Retirement Operations at KC.Orientations@kingcounty.gov.    

How Metro connects you with what matters 

“Every day we carry hundreds of thousands of riders, each of them destined for a place, a person, a moment we can only guess at.”  

On a typical day, King County Metro buses, water taxis, vanpools, and other mobility services connect people with what matters in their lives. 

That’s the message at the heart of our new campaign – Connecting What Matters. We connect people and communities. 

You may have seen our ads on billboards, buses, or Facebook. Read more.

metro connect

Did you know you had this benefit? Employee discounts 

Many businesses partner with King County to offer employees discounted products and services. These services range from hotel and rental car discounts to gym and technology discounts. Learn more about all the discounts you are eligible for at www.kingcounty.gov/employeediscounts. 

Training Spotlight

Excel 1: Getting Proficient, May 11: Learn to work with Quick Access Toolbar, customize your Ribbon, and work with Dialog box launcher. Expand your knowledge on Relative and Absolute References, Sort and Filters, plus controlling page Headers and Footers. Leave more confident with Excel and what it can do for you. Leave the class with a CD and textbook to save you and your colleagues time and frustration on your next project! Register and learn more. 

Communication and Problem Solving Skills, June 19: This one day training will address communication and problem solving skills with the public and with co-workers. This class covers skills for effective listening, speaking, dealing with conflicts and with defensive behavior. Register and learn more. 

View more training and development opportunities at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 

Tech Tip: Targeted attacks


How to access the training: 

To start your Cyber Security Awareness Training please login at: 

Your account for Securing the Human: 

  • Username: King County email address 
  • Password: King County email password 

For more information about Cyber Security please visit our Sharepoint site: 

Featured JobCommunications Specialist III 

Salary: $76,689.39 - $97,208.38 Annually 

Location: WA 98057-2906, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

Department: KCE - King County Elections 

Job Number: 2019RL09802 

Closing: 5/6/2019 11:59 PM Pacific 

King County Elections (KCE) manages voter registrations and elections for more than 1.3 million voters in King County, the largest vote-by-mail county in the United States. KCE's mission is to conduct fair, open and accurate elections. As a leader in providing inclusive elections, KCE is focused on three key priorities – (1) actively identifying and working to remove barriers to voting at both the individual and community level, (2) strengthening relationships with community and governmental partners, and (3) creating a culture of professional growth and development, openness and inclusion. Learn more at www.kingcounty.gov/elections.aspx   The Department of Elections - is searching for an energetic and resourceful professional who likes to "get stuff done." The Communications Specialist III position in the Elections Department combines an exciting environment with the opportunity to cultivate talents and apply a variety of skills. The ideal candidate will thrive in an innovativefast-paced environment and will not hesitate to roll up both sleeves, work hard, have fun, and get the job done. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

KC Headlines

Contact us!

Interested in sharing a news story, or have a news tip? Click here to submit an item to Employee News. For questions or suggestions, please contact KCEmployees@kingcounty.gov.