Employee News - December 29, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News




Executive Constantine’s Top 20 Accomplishments in 2020 

When we ended 2019, we had every reason to be optimistic, hopeful, and prepared for another year of growth in King County. But 2020 proved just how quickly things can change. 

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated our focus this year, as we led the response to the nation’s first outbreak of the disease. From setting up our medical command center even before the first confirmed case, to building isolation and quarantine recovery facilities, to distributing millions of masks to county residents, King County employees have been working to help those we serve to beat this disease. 

That work was met with a strong, sustained commitment by the people of King County who did all they could to flatten the curve and slow the spread of the disease. An unparalleled public effort to wear masks, keep socially distant, and of course, wash hands, has so far kept our hospitals from being overwhelmed as we await vaccines sufficient to stop this disease. 

covid vaccine

What we know (and a few things we don’t) about COVID-19 vaccines: a conversation with Dr. Jeff Duchin  

Two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and the first shipments have arrived in King County.   

In this interview, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Seattle & King County Public Health, answers common questions such as... Who is getting the first shots? How effective are the new vaccines? What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work? What kind of common side effects do the vaccines have? What about the severe allergic reactions that the news has reported in a handful of people? Read more. 

mt rainier

Metro wins Performance Excellence Awards for equity and for sustainability 

Metro was honored with two King County Performance Excellence Awards: the Innovation Award for Equity and Social Justice and the Innovation Award for Sustainability. Given by King County Executive Dow Constantine, these annual honors are given to employees and teams at King County that demonstrate exceptional contributions to performance, leadership, service, and innovation. 

“These awards recognize people who are helping build a best-run government at King County,” said Constantine. 

Metro received the Innovation Award for Equity and Social Justice for its work to design a Mobility Framework.  Read more. 



Airport outreach incorporates equity and social justice 

The team at King County International Airport – Boeing Field (KCIA) have been updating its master plan, a comprehensive study required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that describes the airport’s short, medium, and long-term sustainable development goals, alternatives, and plans. 

“Because the airport is such a big aspect of the neighborhoods surrounding it, we knew we wanted to be good neighbors and do more than just a single open house for our outreach,” said Kevin Nuechterlein, Capital Projects Manager at KCIA. Diverse neighborhoods around the airport include Georgetown, South Park, and Beacon Hill, among others. Read more. 

oit training

Call for applicants: Wastewater’s “Operator-in-Training” program offers paid jobs, no experience needed 

Crossposted from WTD Clean Water Stories 

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is looking for operators to monitor complex industrial equipment and the flows going through them. Operators check readings and take water samples to make sure things are running smoothly. Good operators are hard to find – and desperately needed. WTD needed a way to bring in talented, new people and help them get certified as quickly as possible, so they started an Operator-in-Training (OIT) program to find and train their own operators. 

“Part of our program is to show people enough about wastewater for them to decide for themselves if it is the job for them,” says Denise Chanez, OIT training program coordinator. Applicants don’t need a college degree; in fact, they don’t need any experience in wastewater. As trainees learn and develop, they are eligible for job progression and promotional opportunities.  

Applications to join this year’s class of recruits are due January 17, 2021. Trainee positions are paid $48,004-$60,849 annually, include full benefits, and are eligible for overtime. To learn more about the OIT program and apply, click here.

To read more about the program, view the original blog post for this story.


Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions 

As we move into 2021, you may find yourself thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. While health and well-being goals are helpful, some types of goals can leave us feeling guilty or insufficient if we don’t reach or sustain them. Balanced You supports employees’ well-being goals and encourages everyone to approach their 2021 resolutions with kindness and caring toward themselves as we continue to work through the pandemic together. Read this Balanced You blogpost for strategies to use and resources to support you in developing 2021 goals that uplift you physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

hope and joy

Hope and Joy Campaign: January 6 Coffee Connection 

As part of the Hope and Joy Campaign, the Balanced You team is hosting a series of virtual zoom sessions, called “Coffee Connections”, to provide spaces for employees to connect over fun topics and events. The next Coffee Connection’s theme is “New Year’s Resolutions.” Join us then to share your intentions or themes for 2021, or hear others’ plans to get inspired. 

It will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 6, from 10-10:30 a.m. Join the Zoom meeting at this link, using passcode 618235. 

Check out other upcoming Coffee Connections on the Balanced You Blog here. 

Creating Effective Application Materials online workshop, January 13 

This one-hour virtual workshop will provide you tips and strategies on how to make your application materials stand out.  Learning objectives include:  

  • Understanding the purpose of the job application, resume, cover letter and supplemental questions and how to make each of them more effective  
  • Deciding what to include in your resume and the best format to showcase your qualifications  
  • How to write a cover letter tailored to the specific position  
  • Identifying and showcasing your accomplishments  

This workshop will take place Wednesday, Jan. 13 from 1 - 3 p.m. Register here. 

For additional online workshops offered by King County Career Support Services (CSS), visit their Eventbrite page. For more information about CSS along with links to career related tips and resources, visit www.kingcounty.gov/CSS. 


2021 Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, January 14 

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 “Creating the Beloved Community” and the accompanying quote is “A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option — for peace cannot exist where justice is not served.” – US Congressman John Lewis   

The 2021 Celebration keynote will be delivered by Dr. Ben Danielson, Director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. The event will also include music and a spoken word performance. More details are available on the event website. Read more.  

Strategic Interviewing Tips and Techniques, January 26 

This two-hour virtual workshop will provide you with strategies and tips to help you to do your best during the interview. Learning objectives include: 

  • How to prepare for a virtual job interview 
  • The interview structure and types of questions you will be asked 
  • The STAR-LA method and how to use it to provide organized and complete responses 
  • General tips and strategies 

This workshop will take place Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon. Register here. 

For additional online workshops offered by King County Career Support Services (CSS), visit their Eventbrite page. For more information about CSS along with links to career related tips and resources, visit www.kingcounty.gov/CSS. 

STAR-LA Interview Practice and Feedback, January 12 and January 20  

This 60-minute, virtual, small group workshop is designed to provide mock interview practice and feedback using the STAR-LA method as taught by King County Career Support Services. This workshop is ideal for participants who have attended the Strategic Interviewing Tips and Techniques workshop or have watched the 10 minute STAR-LA method video found on the Career Support Services website 

This workshop will take place Tuesday, Jan. 12 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 10 – 11 a.m. Register here.  

For additional online workshops offered by King County Career Support Services (CSS), visit their Eventbrite page. For more information about CSS along with links to career related tips and resources, visit www.kingcounty.gov/CSS. 

Training Spotlight for December 29 

Easy Steps to Great Grammar – Online – Confused about grammar and punctuation? This fun, 3-Session class will help you master the latest rules, avoid common errors, and write with confidence. You'll cover apostrophes, verb tense, word usage, subject/verb agreement, commas/semicolons, style guides, how to avoid the 10 most common grammar and punctuation mistakes, and more. Class includes plenty of examples and exercises to help you practice your new skills. This course is coming up quick, starting on Jan. 6 and finishing on Jan. 20, and is held each Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Register here. 

Please visit our King County Eventbrite website and our Learning and Development website for more learning opportunities. For more information, contact the Learning and Development Team at KCTraining@kingcounty.gov or visit Learning and Development at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 


Pet of the Week: Cairo

Hi, my name is Cairo! I'm a 7 year-old male domestic short hair cat. If you're looking for a fancy and independent gentleman who also happens to be a great conversationalist, I might just be the cat for you! My caretakers feel I would do best as the only cat in my new home; however, I also lived with adult humans and large dogs, and I get along great with both! 

Read more and view all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. Have you or someone you know adopted a pet from RASKC? Let us know. We’d love to tell your story. 

Featured Job: Equipment Operator 

Salary: $66,414 - $80,724 annually 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, full time 

Department: DLS – Dept of Local Services, Road Services 

Job Number: 2020JH12581 

Closing: 1/6/2021 11:59 PM Pacific 

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.