Five Questions with Christina Davidson, Supported Employment Program Manager, Human Resources Division

Christina Davidson1. What is your role at King County and when did you start? I started at King County on April 20 as the Supported Employment Program Manager.

2. What is your background in supported employment? I have worked in the field of supported employment for the last 10 years at PROVAIL, the state’s largest private multi-service agency dedicated to supporting people with disabilities to fulfill their life choices. Since 2009, I served as a Program Manager in PROVAIL Employment Services department overseeing the work of 11 Employment Consultants who help individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment. I worked as an Employment Consultant for many years, developing jobs for individuals with disabilities within both small and large companies. I am excited to take my knowledge and experience to support King County in developing a strong Supported Employment program.

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Mobile Identification helps law enforcement on the go

Mobile IDWhat does an officer do when a suspect will not cooperate and provide his or her name? One solution is to use a new tool called Mobile Identification.

Mobile ID is a handheld fingerprint device paired with software that gives the officer the ability to search two fingerprints against the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and receive results in minutes. Devices do not save data; fingerprints are searched against prints on file and are not stored in the database.

“The Sheriff’s Office is very excited to be using Mobile ID,” King County Sheriff John Urquhart said. “This invaluable tool helps the deputy confirm an identity when someone plays ‘the name game’ by giving wrong names. Deputies can do their jobs more efficiently using these wireless devices, and as a result, can more quickly get back on patrol and respond to other calls.”

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Delivering technology solutions with architectural precision

Ina HeadshotWhat does an IT Business Analyst have in common with an architect?  According to Ina Percival, a senior Business Analyst with King County Information Technology, it comes down to the planning.

“It’s probably not the best idea to build a house without an architect, and in the same way, we shouldn’t tackle an IT project without the help of a Business Analyst,” Percival said.

KCIT Junior and Senior Business Analysts are now available to provide services Countywide on IT projects. If a department or agency knows there’s an upcoming IT or technology project, it can submit a request to procure Business Analysis Services for assistance.

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Fighting truancy to keep kids out of court system

In Washington State, 75 percent of prison inmates do not have a high school diploma.

That’s why Stephanie Sato, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Senior Specialist in Truancy Intervention, is passionate about education.

“Basically education re-engagement is crime prevention. When I worked in our juvenile division I got to see it for myself. The students skipping school—they’re not bad kids—maybe there are problems at home. But, if you don’t catch truancy early, they fall behind,” Sato said. “It spirals out of control into criminal activity, and I don’t know if the kids even knew how they got there.”

Stephanie Sato, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Senior Specialist in Truancy Intervention

Stephanie Sato, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Senior Specialist in Truancy Intervention

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Five Questions with Meredith Li-Vollmer, Risk Communication Specialist, Public Health – Seattle & King County

Meredith Li-Vollmer1, What is Risk Communications? Risk communications involves providing information and engaging audiences about issues of concern or perceived threats in ways that will help people cope, make informed decisions, and understand their risks. This means we need to show empathy for what people are experiencing, be as open and transparent as we can about what we’re doing and why, and start communicating as soon as possible.

2. What do you do as Risk Communication Specialist for Public Health? I support the health department’s programs that work with disease outbreaks and other health threats, and I develop our plans for communicating during public health emergencies. During crisis situations, I work on a team to communicate critical health and safety information. As part of my job, I work with the news media, manage social media, and find ways to reach everyone in King County, especially those with the greatest barriers in accessing information.  I talk with members of diverse communities to learn how they get information, who they trust for information, and how we can better reach them. I try to put what I learn into action by improving our public information materials and communication channels. Much of the work is collaborative with other programs that can help build the relationships we need to communicate effectively. We use these improvements for everyday communications, not just for emergencies.

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Goat Hill gears up for spring gardening

Goat Hill 1Every morning on his way to work, Dan Malone stops by King County’s Goat Hill Garden for a few minutes to rip up some weeds and make sure plants are growing as they should.

Malone and fellow Goat Hill Garden Coordinator Heather Whitten, along with other King County employee-volunteers, tend and manage garden maintenance and growth on their lunch breaks and before and after work at the garden located across from the Chinook Building in downtown Seattle.

Malone, a new Goat Hill Garden Coordinator, and Whitten, a veteran coordinator, have a few new ideas for the upcoming Goat Hill growing season.

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Employee finds new ways to deliver energy and cost savings

Ben Rupert

Ben Rupert, Energy Manager with Facilities Management Division

Ben Rupert has been the Energy Manager in King County’s Facilities Management Division (FMD) for a little over a year but has already made significant contributions to the County’s reduction targets for energy use and operating costs in its facilities.

King County is on track to meet its 2015 goal of reducing energy use in its facilities by 15 percent over the baseline 2007 usage. For more than two years, the County has been meeting its goal of generating the equivalent of 50 percent of county government energy needs through renewable resources. At the end of 2014, the County had reduced energy use by 16.3% versus the 2007 baseline.

Ben has focused his efforts on providing leadership in four areas: technical training for internal staff, project financing, occupant/staff engagement and policy review and development. In 2014 he coordinated training for FMD operating engineers to become certified building operators, which will ensure that County buildings are operated as efficiently as possible while also offering career development for employees. He secured grant funding to continue this effort, and FMD is on track to have more than 15 staff certified through this program by the end of 2015.

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New approach to youth who commit violence in the home

Stephanie Trollen (left), Juvenile Section Supervisor, and Jimmy Hung, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney,  are organizing the FIRS program.

Stephanie Trollen (left), Juvenile Section Supervisor, and Jimmy Hung, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, are organizing the FIRS program.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO), in partnership with King County Superior Court and the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, plans to launch FIRS (Family Intervention and Restorative Services), a new juvenile diversion program geared to provide services to families who are struggling with domestic violence (DV).

Unlike adult court, juvenile DV rarely involves intimate partner violence. Instead, the vast majority of cases in juvenile court involve youth acting out against their parents or siblings at a misdemeanor level. Many of these youth struggle with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Juvenile DV cases are referred to the PAO typically after families, in a moment of crisis, call police. Although families look to the juvenile justice system for help, almost none of them want their children to end up with a criminal record. Approximately 40 percent of juvenile DV referrals result in declines because families routinely decline to assist or participate in the formal court system for this reason.

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Who is your favorite nonprofit?

If your favorite nonprofit wasn’t in last year’s Annual Giving Drive, now is the time to make sure they get in for this year.EGP connection-lukov

All nonprofits that turn in a complete, on-time application by April 30, 2015, and meet all of the eligibility requirements, can participate in the upcoming 2015 Annual Giving Drive and be eligible to receive payroll and time donations.

“By being in the program nonprofits gain exposure and access to 13,000+ King County employees, payroll donations, which statistically are three to six times larger than one-time check gifts because you can spread them out, as well as time donations, and it is incredibly efficient,” said Junelle Kroontje, Employee Giving Program Administrator.  “They benefit from our very low program costs allowing them to maximize gifts even further, and can harness the power of collective giving and community relationships.”

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Public safety employees reach out to the community to build trust

To build trust between law enforcement and Hispanic community in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park, Sheriff’s Office Community Service Officer Dahlia Corona started a workshop series called “Nurturing Trust, With Family, With Community – Padres Unidos-Familias Seguras.”

“You’ll find that when there is a language barrier or a cultural barrier then there’s a disconnect between the police and the community,” Corona said.

The workshops focus on topics such as positive discipline, domestic violence and child abuse, bullying, drug prevention and leadership in the community, and the role that law enforcement plays in preventing negative outcomes and promoting positive ones.

Dahlia Corona Shoreline

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