Employee News - October 15, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News




Cast your vote early, make your voice heard 

Dear Colleagues,  

Voting plays a critical role in our democracy and our dedicated staff at King County Elections work tirelessly to ensure we have secure, accessible and accurate elections. This general election, we’re projecting a record-breaking 90% voter turnout. This is exciting! It also means we expect as many as 450,000 ballots returned through drop boxes on Nov. 3 alone. Beat traffic, avoid lines and ensure your voice is heard by making a vote plan and returning your ballot early.  

Make a plan! Last week we mailed out ballots to nearly 1.4 million registered King County voters. If you haven’t received your ballot by Oct, 19, you can print a replacement ballot here. If you still need to register to vote, visit VoteWa.gov—yes, there’s still time! Once you’ve received your ballot and voted, there are three ways to return your ballot:

  1. At a ballot drop box. Find your nearest ballot drop box—no stamp needed! King County’s 73 drop boxes opened last week. Boxes are now open 24/7 up until Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. sharp.
  2. By mail. We recommend dropping your ballot in the mail by the Friday before Election Day to make sure it gets postmarked in time to be counted. Your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day. Please do not send your ballot through interoffice mail. 
  3. At one of our accessible Vote Centers. This year we will be in seven locations: Elections HQ in Renton, CenturyLink Field Event Center, the Dempsey Indoor Center on the UW Campus in Seattle, Bellevue College, Showare Center in Kent, the Federal Way Performing Arts Center and Kenmore City Hall.

Track your ballot by using the My Voter Information tool and make sure your vote was counted. Read more.


Skype is retiring as King County moves to Microsoft Teams 

Skype is retiring and King County is moving to Teams for all of our county communication. Most employees will move by the end of the year. 

This means one click – in one application – will give employees: 

  • Instant Messages: Send IMs and chat with individuals, teams or groups, all in one location. 
  • Meet: Schedule meetings or invite anyone with an email address to join your meeting. Employees can collaborate in real-time, share screens or use a digital whiteboard. 
  • Call: Make and receive calls within King County or to outside people or groupswith no app needed. 
  • Collaborate: Teams will be a “one-stop” location for SharePoint, OneNote and Office tools. 
  • Live: Hold live events and meetings with audiences large or small. 

Moving to Microsoft Teams is a big change, and KCIT is here to make it easy for each employee. There is a robust plan to support employees through this change. Read more.

Fleet moves ahead with Lean projects, saving money and reducing waste 

Folks in Fleet have been busy working on ways to make processes more efficient. In fact, they have three examples of new or improved processes that will save the county money, reduce waste, and free up staff time for other Lean work. 

“We’ve been on a Lean journey way before I got here in late 2018,” said Lynn Walters, shop supervisor. “COVID slowed everything down but we were able to get back on track.” 

Walters said there has been universal alignment and support of the Lean efforts from the shop floor to Fleet Operations Manager Chris Gavigan to Fleet Director Jennifer Lindwall and DES Director Caroline Whalen. Read more.  


Facilities Management Division staff tackle big challenges 

It takes a team to manage the challenges that 2020 has brought to King County and the world. The need for cleaning has increased incredibly from both COVID-19 and protests associated with racial injustice. Repeatedly, downtown county buildings have been tagged with graffiti. Facilities Management Division (FMD) employees have all stepped up, from trades workers to custodians, Utility workers and security officers, to name a few. 

“I am just so proud of all the work FMD employees put in each and every day for this county,” said Aaron Bert, Deputy Director of Operations for FMD. Read more. 

Love your King County employee benefits? 

Want to help spread the word about the great employee benefits King County provides? The Benefits Team is looking for employees who utilize and love their employee benefits. If this is you—and you’d like to find out even more and help your coworkers learn about their benefit choices during Open Enrollment, Nov. 1–15, let us know! 

Later this month, you will be provided with virtual training and materials, so that you can encourage participation in Open Enrollment, answer questions, and offer support to the people you work with. 

Participation is strictly voluntary, on your own time, and non-work related. For more information, contact the Benefits Team at 206-684-1556 or KC Benefits. 


Collective care tips and emotional well-being resources for the LatinX/Hispanic community 

LatinX/Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.  As LatinX/Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, Balanced You would like to remind the LatinX community about resources available to support their emotional well-being, including spaces for celebration, joy, and connection; tips for self- and collective-care; and traditional mental health resources. Visit this Balanced You blogpost for more information. 

Learn how to boost your retirement savings 

You and your spouse or significant other are invited to learn more about saving for retirement with the King County Deferred Compensation Plan.  

Several webinars are coming up Oct. 14, 20, and 21, Nov. 2, and Dec. 4, including the following. See details and registration. 

  • Social Security Simplified 
  • Retirement Ready 
  • Savings Strategies 
  • Creating and Balancing a Budget 
  • Financial Wellness 
  • Women and Retirement 

If you would like to meet individually with a retirement specialist who can help you review your retirement goals, schedule a virtual check-in. 

For more information about Deferred Compensation Plan education, go to the Deferred Compensation web page. If you have any questions, please contact KC Deferred Comp. 


Keep an eye out for your ballot 

Yesterday ballots were mailed out. Set an alarm for Monday, Oct. 19 – this is when you should have received your ballot. If you haven’t received your ballot by then, give King County Elections a call at 206-296-VOTE (8683) to get a replacement or go online to kingcounty.gov/elections/obmp to print one out at home. 

Thinking through when you’re going to vote and how you’re going to return your ballot can help make sure that you get back your ballot back on time and make sure your voice heard. Start by taking two minutes now to make sure your registration is up to date. Visit VoteWA.gov.  

Here are some key deadlines to keep in mind 

  • Oct. 14 – Ballots mailed 
  • Oct. 15 – Drop boxes open 
  • Oct. 19 – Voters should have their ballot in hand by the 10/19 mail delivery 
  • Oct. 26 – Deadline for online and mail voter registration 
  • Nov. 3 – Election Day - Drop boxes close at 8 p.m. sharp or ballots must be postmarked by today 
  • Nov. 23 – Final day to return the form to cure a challenge/fix a signature issue 

Show your support for Latinx Heritage Month through the 2020 Annual Giving Drive

Latinx Heritage Month may be drawing to a close, but there are many opportunities to support nonprofits participating in the Annual Giving Drive whose work supports Latinx, Hispanic, and Latino-identified communities. Today we’ve highlighted four more nonprofits participating in this year’s campaign: 

  • Centro Cultural Guanín, Inc (0990): Our mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment where youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, develop confidence, and cultivate skills for life in the Dominican-Haitian community. 
  • Colectiva Legal del Pueblo (9918): We are a non-hierarchical collective founded by and for undocumented immigrants working to build a more inclusive movement for migrant justice through legal services and organizing. 
  • Entre Hermanos (9626): To support the Latinx LGBTQ community in a culturally appropriate environment through disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building. 
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (2851): MALDEF fights for the civil rights of Latinos living in our country. Please help remove the unfair obstacles and provide all Latinos with a voice. 

There are hundreds of nonprofits working on the causes you care about that you can support in this year’s campaign. Find out the many ways that you can take action in support of the participating nonprofits who are doing great work in our community and around the world. Read more.


Reminder: Free live, virtual exercises classes for King County employees begin Wednesday, October 21 

In response to employee requests, Balanced You, in partnership with Vivecorp, will begin offering free, live, virtual exercise classes on Wednesday, Oct. 21. King County employees and anyone in their home, including children, are welcome to join. Classes will be hosted on Zoom and held on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Fridays at noon through December 2020. Visit this Balanced You blogpost for the class schedule and instructions on how to register and join. 

Training Spotlight for October 15 

  • Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion – Online – Mindful Self-Compassion combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. This class is being offered through Balanced You and is free. To view available opportunities and register, please follow this link. Register here. 

More opportunities are available on our King County Eventbrite page. For more information, contact the Learning and Development Team at KCTraining@kingcounty.gov or visit Learning and Development at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 

Featured Job: End the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Program Manager (Project/Program Manager IV) 

Salary$100,134.11 - $126,926.18 Annually 

LocationSeattle, WA 

Job TypeCareer Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

DepartmentDPH - Public Health 

Job Number2020NH12265 


Closing10/26/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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