Employee News - Sept. 8

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



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What are the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is not only important in protecting you from contracting the virus, but also helping to protect your family, friends, co-workers, and customers. It especially protects those who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and those who cannot be vaccinated.

Click here to learn more.

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How do COVID-19 vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 without us having to get the illness. When you get the vaccine, your immune system makes antibodies and other infection-fighting cells that protect you in case you are infected with the virus.

Read this article to learn more

Employee Spotlight

David Decoutea

David Decoteau joins airport as new deputy director

Cross-posted from Executive Services Express

David Decoteau will join the leadership team at King County International Airport-Boeing Field (KCIA) on Sept. 20 as the new deputy director. Decoteau most recently served as director of Renton Municipal Airport, less than five air miles from KCIA.

Read the full announcement here


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What to do if you are contacted by media

If you are contacted by a member of the media in your professional capacity as a King County employee, you should know what steps to take and who to reach out to in your department.

Your first point of contact should always be your department’s Public Information Officer, who can work with the reporter to answer their questions and connect them with the best person to represent the county on an issue.

Follow these guidelines if you are contacted by a member of the media.

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Mental Health Accommodations

September is National Recovery and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. King County continues its commitment to employee mental health and well-being.

This committment includes providing reasonable accommodations to all its employees and applicants for employment. This helps ensure that individuals with disabilities, including mental health conditions, enjoy equal access to all employment opportunities.

It is important to note that while some individuals with mental health conditions may experience limitations that impact their ability to work or perform certain job functions, the degree to which they are impacted will vary.

Read through the Mental Health Accommodations here.

young adults

The Children and Family Justice Center Youth Action Team is now accepting applications

The Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) Youth Action Team is an opportunity for young people ages 14 thru 18, from a variety of backgrounds, to come together to find and share their voices as it relates to community resources, planning, and engagement.

Click here to learn more about the program and how to apply

If you have questions or just want to learn more about the Youth Action Team, contact Robert Gant at rgant@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-0041. Please feel free to share this with young people who may be interested.

Coffee Conversations Gonzalez

Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month: Environmental Health Services hosts event with Chief Justice Gonzalez tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 9

This Thursday, Sept. 9 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the Education Engagement Strategy Program, within the Public Health Environmental Health Services Division, is partnering with the King County Latinx Affinity Group for a CoffeeConversation Session with Chief Justice Steven C. Gonzalez of the Washington State Supreme Court.

This is the fourth conversation the program will be hosting. The previous session invited Dr. Ana Mari Cauce, President of the University of Washington and Stella Keating, a Tacoma teen advocate for trans and nonbinary youth. The series was launched by epidemiologists Amy Laurent, with Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC), and Mo West, with the University of Washington. Thursday’s session will be followed by one featuring PHSKC Healthcare Managers Amy Curtis and Tiffany Liu to celebrate National Nurses Week, May 6-12. Afterwards, the next conversation will be with the professional ice hockey team, The Seattle Kraken.

To join the CoffeeConversation event tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 9, visit this Zoom link and enter Meeting ID: 833 5995 4651, and password: 890148. The event is from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and is open to the first 300 participants.

About the Program

A few years ago, when Environmental Health Services (EHS) Program Manager Greg Wilson was asked to create a program that looked for the future workforce for Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC), he not only ran with it, but wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity. Today he serves as the Program Manager for the EHS Division’s Education Engagement Strategy Program.

The Program focuses on providing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) opportunities for middle school to college-age students that include internships, work study, and job shadow opportunities. It also offers an eight-day teacher externship and has a wealth of community partners throughout a network of academia who act as supportive hosts.

Read more about the program and learn about the Sept. 9 event here.

COVID-19 vaccination clinics at two Renton locations Sept. 9 and Sept. 30  

King County employees and their family members age 12 and older can get vaccinated at one of our upcoming pop-up vaccine clinics. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration is strongly encouraged and will save you time.

The King County Sheriff’s Office, Roads Division, and Department of Human Resources are partnering with Pliable to offer these clinics on Thursday, Sept. 9.

  • 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Regional Communications and Emergency Coordination Center, 3511 NE 2nd St. in Renton. To register, click here.
  • 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Roads Division Renton Maintenance Facility, behind building "A" at 155 Monroe Ave NE in Renton. To register, click here.

Second dose clinics will be held at the same locations and times three weeks later on Thursday, Sept. 30. Registration information will be shared soon.

For additional King County employee pop-up clinics, click here

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Attend a Mindfulness Class

Balanced You partners with Mindfulness Northwest to offer free classes to King County employees. Mindfulness is a practice that can support you in reducing stress at work and at home.

Mindful Parenting, Sept. 9

The session brings the lens of mindfulness to bear on what some say is the "world's hardest job," helping you meet the joys and challenges of parenting.

Meeting Anxiety with Mindfulness, Sept. 14

With a warm, supportive teacher, you'll try some simple practices that help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.

View full mindfulness class schedule here.

Outlook updates

Tech Tip: Outlook updates through
Oct. 5 – restart if you experience issues

An Outlook update for all King County workstations will be implemented in waves Sept. 7 through Oct. 5. This update will happen automatically.

Please restart your computer regularly to ensure the changes take effect. If you experience issues after restarting your computer, open a Helpdesk ticket for KCIT to investigate.

The changes will update the Microsoft Labeling add-in that uses the “C4 – Special Handling” label to send encrypted emails. All Outlook users will see the encryption button change from “Protect” to “Sensitivity”.  

Email functionality will stay the same; however, users will have the added option to apply the same encryption labels to other Microsoft Office documents in Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint.

Learn more about restricting access to content by using sensitivity labels to apply encryption.

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Featured Job: Assistant Fire Marshal 

Salary: $43.78 - $55.49 Hourly

Location: Seattle, WA

Job Type: Civil Service, Full Time, 40/hrs Wk

Department: KCSO - Sheriff's Office

Job Number: 2021MK14117

Division: Criminal Investigations

Closes: Sept 26 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time

KC Sheriff's Office seeks a highly trusted advisor to lead its Fire Investigation Unit:

  • Lead a team of highly skilled Fire Investigators; Provide a coordinated fire safety program for the citizens of King County in conjunction with ATF and local fire districts;
  • Manage fire investigation services and relationships with the cities that contract with King County, in addition to serving unincorporated King County, facilitating increased contracts and scaling operations accordingly;
  • Strategically maintain, review, and ensure the accuracy of statistics, providing information in a manner that tells an effective story.
  • Must have (or obtain within the first year) Certified Fire Investigator status from IFSAC, IAAI, or NAFI.

Learn more about this position or view all available positions

King County Headlines

Press briefing discussing outdoor mask order and COVID’s impact on local healthcare system

New data dashboard tracks COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated people compared to vaccinated people

King County working on vaccine verification requirements for some non-essential indoor business activities and other venues

Looking for back issues?

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

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.