Employee News - December 24, 2019



A service of the King County Department of Human Resources


Focus on values: We focus on the customer 

As public servants, “We focus on the customer” is not only one of our core values – it’s also part of every employee’s work, whether their customer is a member of the public, or another county employee. 

Over the past eight years, through training, collaborating, and learning from employees about their experiences and challenges, we’ve created a common understanding of what excellent customer service looks like in King County. Read more. 

natasha video

Director John Diaz honors DAJD employees who are on active duty 

DAJD Director John Diaz was inspired to speak out to acknowledge not only DAJD’s five employees who will be deployed over the holidays, but all County employees who currently serve in the National Guard or Reserve, and their families who support them. 


Employee Spotlights

stephanie and ariana

Navigating a loved one’s military deployment 

When a member of the military is deployed, it is challenging not only for the service member, but also for family members, especially during the holidays. Providing support to individuals and their family members currently serving is a meaningful way to impact and uplift each employee and their wellbeing. 

“My wife, Stephanie, is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and has been serving for 17 years. Her unit has been deployed since March of 2019 so it will be nearly a year before I see her again,” said Ariana Bostian-Kentes, Learning and Development Manager in the Department of Human Resources. Ariana has been with King County since August 2019. Read more. 



A warm thank you to our employee audience 

Our top stories, videos, and social media posts for 2019 

Throughout 2019, the Department of Human Resources Employee Communications Team highlighted the professional accomplishments, challenges and successes of our employees, as well as King County opportunities and important events. These were shared in our weekly Employee News newsletter, the KC Employee News blog, our KCEmployees Twitter account, the King County, WA LinkedIn account, and our King County Employees YouTube channel. 

Thank you to all our readers for engaging with our content, sharing it with others, and helping us to be successful in providing you the information needed to succeed in your career, live a healthy life, and make King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We invite you to revisit the top 10 stories of 2019; you just might run into a story about yourself, your colleague or your department. Read more.


Saving more lives than ever before 

Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) continues to set the standard when it comes to saving animals’ lives. This year, more than 4,100 dogs, cats, and other animals in our care were adopted to new families or returned to their lost owner. Because of this amazing work, we expect to achieve another organizational milestone in 2019, reaching a live release rate for dogs and cats of 95%. This again puts RASKC in rare company for public, open-admission animal shelters in the United States. Read more. 

In January, eligible PERS 2 members can switch to PERS 3 

Each January, certain members of Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) Plan 2 have the opportunity to transfer to PERS Plan 3. You are eligible to transfer to Plan 3 if you meet all of the following criteria: 

  • You enrolled in PERS Plan 2 before Sept. 1, 2002. 
  • You are currently in an eligible position. 
  • You will earn service credit in January. 

Read more.


Update on Department of Retirement Systems public records request 

The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) has advised that on Dec. 18, 2019, the Thurston County Superior Court issued an order temporarily restraining certain state agencies, including the Department of Retirement Systems, from releasing information in response to a public records request DRS received for certain items of information “for each person currently employed by a public employer in Washington.” 

The court has scheduled a hearing on Dec. 27, 2019, to determine if the order should be made permanent. A copy of the order is available here. Read more on the DRS website. For information or questions, contact DRS at 844-704-6780 or drs.pdrnotice@drs.wa.gov. 


Have you completed Cyber Security Awareness Training?  

All King County employees are required to complete Cyber Security Awareness Training in 2019. Have you taken it yet? There are 12 training modules, and it  takes approximately 50 minutes to complete all 12. Each module is only a few minutes long. 

To start your Cyber Security Awareness Training, please login at https://sso.securingthehuman.org/kingcounty   

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. 


Nominate team members for 2019 Performance Excellence Awards  

Nominations are now being accepted for the Executive’s second-annual Performance Excellence Awards. The recognition program – the first of its kind at the County – honors employees and workgroups for their exceptional contributions in performance, leadership, and innovation.   

Anyone in the Executive Branch can nominate a team or individual for a Performance Excellence Award until Jan. 10You’ll find information about the awards here, including nomination categories, criteria, and forms. Read more. 

2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, Jan. 16   

Community members and King County employees are invited to join in honoring our nation’s foremost human rights leader and King County’s namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme for the 2020 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is “Yes, we are on the move and no wave of racism can stop us. We are on the move now.” They keynote address will be given by john a. powell, Director, Othering & Belonging Institute, University of California, Berkeley. The program also includes music and spoken word.   

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020,  noon to 1 p.m., Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. For more information, contact Tynishia Walker at 206-263-0534 or TWalker@kingcounty.gov. 


Pet of the Week: Yasu 

Hi! My name is Yasu and I am available for adoption. I was brought in by a good samaritan on December 14, 2019. I'm a bit under socialized because I've spent my whole socialization prime time with my litter, which means that I haven't received a lot of consistency or human attention. I'm ready to begin my life with a new family! I am a young dog with who needs some social skills and consistent training added to my life. I'm super sweet and affectionate, but I'm also incredibly high energy and intelligent. This means I need mental and physical excercise multiple times a day. I would benefit from working with a professional trainer that can help build my confidence. 

Read more and view all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. 

Featured Job: Social Services Professional - Veteran's Program 

Salary: $30.75 - $38.98 Hourly 

Location: WA 98121, WA 

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

Department: DCHS - Community & Human Services 

Job Number: 2019SC11051 

Closing: 1/5/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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