Employee News - August 20, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News




Now recruiting 2020 Ambassadors!

Even when we’re apart, we can act together to make a difference. It’s part of who we are as King County Employees. Now, more than ever, the Annual Giving Drive is important for our community, for each other, and for ourselves. 

It will look and feel different, but the joy and purpose is the same. You will get bring your creativity to life, expand your technology and digital communications skills, and bring joy while building community and connection for your teams. The program is a vast resource for us as we navigate through 2020. Even in the toughest of times, the program has been with us and will be this year too. 

Ambassadors are the most important element of our Employee Giving Program team. You will be the key to making sure that every King County employee has a quality opportunity to connect to a cause through the program. Find out more.


The case of the metal strands – teamwork leads to the source of treatment system damage

Crossposted from Wastewater Treatment Division's Clean Water Stories

When wastewater comes into the Carnation Wastewater Treatment Plant, it first passes through a process that removes larger particles like trash and grit from the water. Next, the water flows through a process that involves tanks containing membranes. These membranes are fine filters (like spaghetti) that only allow water molecules to flow through. When staff at the Carnation Plant began noticing damage to the membranes, they investigated. What they found were metal strands causing the damage. They made a call to our utility’s Unusual Occurrence Program. Read more.


One month of summer left: If you can, take a vacation

If you want to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine, there’s only one month until we reach fall, so maybe it’s time to take a vacation if you can.

While an overseas vacation or trip to a favorite destination might be on hold now during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that a vacation from work allows the body and mind to rest. It allows us to pursue other activities and think about things unrelated to our jobs and careers. We can focus on our family, share laughter with friends, and devote energy toward our communities. And we can prioritize self-care. Studies show that taking time off reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, and fatigue. Read more.



King County awards COVID-19 relief grants to regional science organizations, arts and culture, and independent live music venues

King County provided $2 million in one-time grants to science, arts and culture organizations, and independent live music venues disrupted by COVID-19 across the region. The program is tailored to organizations that draw tourists and is designed to ease the economic burden of the pandemic while also increasing public health measures.

With $2 million of funding backed by the federal CARES Act, King County awarded a total of 62 grants in three categories:

    • Music venues (35 awards)
    • Arts, culture and science educations organizations (21 awards)
    • Science organizations (6 awards)

The grant funds will improve compliance with public health safety measures as these organizations reopen to support the county’s economic recovery and enhance residents’ quality of life. Read full release.


Free Mindfulness Workshop for employees involved in the COVID-19 response

Engaging in emergency response is inevitably stressful for emergency responders. While the work is rewarding, the long hours, breadth of demands, and exposure to human suffering can be difficult for even the most seasoned responder. To support your mental health during this time, Balanced You has partnered with Mindfulness Northwest to develop a free, one-hour introductory-level mindfulness workshop specifically for King County employees involved in the COVID-19 response. The workshop will be held on August 26 from 1 – 2 p.m. For more information, including registration details, visit this Balanced You blogpost.


CHOMP! 2020 Online Celebration

CHOMP! Summer Camp is just around the corner with great virtual programming lined up. From August 24 to 28 you can tune in each evening to check out new content, including a potato zucchini fritter demo, a virtual farm tour at Dandelion Fuzzies Minifarm, how to make a flute out of a carrot, gardening tips from Viva Farms and much more!

Now in its sixth year, CHOMP! celebrates all that is fresh, delicious, local and sustainable in King County. The event supports King County Executive Dow Constantine’s Local Food Initiative by highlighting local farms and farmers, chefs and restaurants using locally-sourced food, and local organizations specializing in healthy and affordable foods, farmer and farmland support, sustainability, and social justice.  

For the past five years CHOMP! has taken place at the picturesque Willowmoor Farm at King County’s Marymoor Park each August, and has grown to an audience of more than 6,000 attendees. The event features a full day of free programming for the whole family to enjoy, including an onsite farmers market, a full day of Cooking Demos, an Upcycle Bazaar featuring local makers, Zucchini Races, Tree Climbing, Live Animals, Live Music, and much more! Find out more


Expanded EBT benefits available for families to feed children who are learning from home

In order to reduce the impact of the pandemic on our community, many school districts have opted for remote learning, meaning many students will be learning from home this year rather than from classroom. While this important decision reduces the risk of families contracting or spreading COVID-19, it also introduces increased financial burden to families that relied on free or reduced-price meals at school and now must adjust their finances to feed their children at home.

To lessen this burden, Washington state, in partnership with the federal government, has introduced the temporary Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, program to increase the amount of food funding available to families with K-12 children who qualify for free- or reduced-price school meals. Visit this Balanced You blog post for details on the P-EBT program, including information on how to apply.

Training Spotlight #1: Building Gender Inclusive Spaces - ONLINE, August 27

In this two-hour workshop, participants will learn foundational knowledge of gender and sexuality and best practices to support a gender diverse workforce, with a focus on the intersection of race and LGBTQ+ identities. Participants will have the opportunity to move through real-life scenarios, apply their understanding of pronoun use, and develop strategies to advance gender equity at King County. 

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Register here. 

Training Spotlight #2: Brain-based Time Management online training, August 26

Do you procrastinate, get distracted, have a hard time prioritizing, or feel overwhelmed? What we do and how we do it are driven by how our brains are wired. Neuroscience tells us we have 10 brain skills and each one of us has skills that are strong (and skills that are not strong). In this class, you’ll hear about each of these skills so you can identify where the weak areas are for you and most importantly, learn what you can do about it. Imagine finishing your workday with confidence that you remembered and handled everything you needed to!  

Thursday, Aug. 26, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Register here. 

The webinar is $50 and space is limited. For more information, contact the Learning and Development Team at KCTraining@kingcounty.gov or visit www.kingcounty.gov/learning

Featured Job: Capital Projects Section Manager

Salary: $126,935.12 - $160,897.78 Annually

Location: Seattle, WA 

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

Department: DES - Facilities Management Division 

Job Number: 2020AB11978

Closing: Applicants who apply by September 7, 2020 will receive first consideration.

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

KC Headlines 

King County and City of Seattle distributing free face coverings in Rainier Beach on Aug. 20

New report indicates increased food needs in King County

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