Employee News - April 15

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



children classroom

Support for working parents as schools return to in-person learning

Many school districts in our region have either restarted in-person learning or announced plans to restart in-person learning. Seattle School District middle and high school students are returning to in-person classes April 19.

The return to in-person learning may create additional challenges for working parents and employees may need additional schedule flexibility or need to take leave during this learning transition.

King County has provided some options to support employees with school-aged children. Find out more here

Masked Medical

Vaccine eligibility open to all residents age 16 and over

Starting Thursday, April 15, all Washington residents age 16 and up are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This is great news and an important step in ending this pandemic.

Finding an appointment initially may be difficult, but please remember that there are several ways you can make an appointment for the vaccine. 

Find out more information here

Introduction to King County eLearning

King County has launched a new platform to power King County eLearning, our online learning system, called NEOGOV Learn.

King County eLearning offers thousands of courses and with NEOGOV Learn now powering it, you will be better able to customize and track your learning, access courses that have been assigned to you, and get credit for your attendance at classes and webinars.

Click the image below to watch a short video introduction to the new King County eLearning program.

eLearn intro video

Employee Spotlight

Metromance Mark & Kari

Metromance: Mark & Kari

Cross posted from Metro Matters

Mark Freitag, one of our Transit Control Center chiefs, retired from Metro last year after nearly 39 years of service. His Metro employment started as a part time bus operator in 1981, driving nights in the Central area and Rainier Valley, later as a full time bus operator. 

But the actual Metromance started much earlier, when Mark was a boy. Read the full story here


Vaccine volunteers shoreline

COVID-19 vaccines: Providing reassurance to communities

This is an excerpt of an article in the Public Health Insider. Read the full article here.

Many community organizations worked to reassure people who feared the vaccines were unsafe, even though the vaccines have been extensively tested. Online misinformation about vaccine safety has been rampant.

"Reaching people with such concerns requires trust," said Janice Deguchi, executive director of Neighborhood House, which supports immigrants and refugees, many of whom speak limited English. 

Read more here about how the community has come together in this effort.

heat map

King County & City of Seattle: Heat Mapping Webinar on April 22

King County and City of Seattle conducted a heat mapping project in July 2020 to record ground-level temperature data that identifies which areas are more likely to experience the harmful health effects of rising temperatures.

King County and City of Seattle employees are invited to a webinar on Earth Day, April 22, to learn more about the heat mapping data King County and City of Seattle collected in July 2020!

The temperature data, collected by community volunteers, was used to create a detailed area-wide map of local temperatures that take into account the effects of trees, buildings, and pavement on neighborhood temperatures.

The results of the study have been summarized in the Heat Watch Report for Seattle & King County and will help inform actions that King County and City of Seattle take to prepare the region as climate change contributes to hotter summers. Join this webinar to learn more about the heat mapping data collection, the results, and future applications.

Please note: This webinar is open to King County and City of Seattle employees only at this time.

stressed woman

Training for Mental Health First Aid@Work

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, the need for mental health awareness grows. Balanced You urges employees to consider participating in the Mental Health First Aid@Work training so we can all support each other better.

During this course, you will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how they may emerge in the workplace, how to listen nonjudgmentally and give reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to connect someone to appropriate support.

The training offers concrete tools and answers key questions like, “What do I do?” and “Where can someone find help?”

  • Thursday, May 6 - Please note, this session has two parts and participants should register for both:
  • Friday, May 21 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. – Sign up here

masked woman at computer

Mindfulness for Pandemic Fatigue

Balanced You is continuing to sponsor Mindfulness classes through the end of June! Mindfulness is a practice that uses breath work, visualization, and other skills to support you in reducing stress at work and at home.

If have been feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and having trouble concentrating, you are not alone. Join us to explore the science behind how the pandemic is affecting our brains, and how mindfulness can help.

PLEASE NOTE: Zoom information will be emailed by the facilitator prior to the class.

Training Spotlight:

  • Mentorship Lunch & Learn – Online – Would you like to have a mentor, someone who can help you grow professionally? Do you want to strengthen your coaching skills? As a Mentee, you will have a trusted advisor who can help you navigate complex situations, and as a Mentor, you can uncover new or forgotten skills and build influence. This Lunch and Learn is free and the next session is on
  • Understanding Trauma – Online – N Seattle CollegeThrough lecture, discussion, and group interaction, students will gain a greater understanding of what trauma is and how it affects people, including their behaviors, thought processes and feelings. The discussion will include viewing trauma in the short, intermediate, and long terms. Much of the generally available information on trauma is misleading and simply inaccurate, so this course will provide a concrete definition of trauma and its different levels (i.e. the trauma continuum). The course will look at the interventions, therapies, and support that are most likely to help persons impacted by trauma, and also the potential limitations and risks with those efforts. This class is six sessions and the fee is $175
    • Thursdays, April 22 through May 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    • Register here - Six sessions; fee $175

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

Security Tips - What’s the Deal with Data Breaches?

Data breaches are becoming more and more common these days. You hear about them in the news all the time. So you might be wondering: what exactly is a data breach? A data breach is when secure information is taken from a trusted environment without permission.

The bad guys can use this information to steal your identity, hack into your online accounts, or use the information for targeted phishing attacks to gather even more information about you. However, just because the data was exposed does not necessarily mean it’s already being used by the bad guys. It only means that bad guys can easily gain access to it.

There are steps you can take to protect your information even if you were exposed in a data breach.

How do I protect my information?

  • Use secure passwords. You may also want to try using a password manager.
  • Set up two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
  • Keep your personal information secure. Never share your passwords or personal information with anyone you don’t know. Shred documents with your personal information on it before throwing it away.

What do I do if my information was already exposed in a breach?

Don’t panic! Take a moment to assess the situation. Ask yourself: What sort of information was exposed? Do I need to notify my bank or other entities? What steps should I take to make my information more secure now?

  • If your password was exposed, we recommend changing your password for all online accounts associated with that password immediately. Make sure the password is complex or use a password generator to create one for you. For extra security, you may want to set up two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
  • If your credit card number or bank account number was exposed, we recommend calling your bank or cardholder and canceling your card(s) immediately. Let them know that your information was exposed so they know to look out for charges that may be fraudulent.
  • If your social security number was exposed, immediately report that your social security number was stolen to the police, credit-reporting agencies, and the IRS. You may also want to sign up for a service that can monitor your identity or credit for added protection.

Please contact kcitcsat@kingcounty.gov if you have questions. 

POTW Harriet

Pet of the Week: Harriet

Hi, my name is Harriet! I am a 55-lb. black and white pit bull mix, but I’m a actually made up of a bundle of love and fun!

I am the shelter's longest resident -- although the shelter staff adore me, I can't wait to find my forever home.

I am a sweet, happy girl filled with affection, and I am full of energy and love to play! I do best when I have lots of exercise and something to keep my mind and mouth busy.

I am a very smart dog--at the shelter I am learning "sit", "stay" and "lay down". I have also picked up on my potty training! 

You can find out more about me and my other friends at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet.  Note that RASKC has moved to adoptions by appointment only.  If you have more questions, you can contact RASKC via phone at 206-296-7387 (PETS) or email pets@kingcounty.gov.

pregnant mom and child

Featured Job: Peer Navigation Specialist Lead - Educator Consultant I

Salary: $34.53 - $43.78/hr

Location: Seattle, WA

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

Department: DPH - Public Health

Job Number: 2021EY13135

Closes: April 19 

Do you possess knowledge of wellbeing theories and practices? Are you a natural caretaker and educator? Lead the new Family Ways Program where you will implement educationand training programs that directly support pregnant and parenting families and their children.

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.

King County Headlines

Everyone over 16 is becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccine but supply is still catching up - Public Health Insider

Best Starts for Kids Funding Opportunity! - Best Starts for Kids

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Click here for previous editions of the Employee News e-newsletter going back to 2019.

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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.