Telling the stories of King County employees
Acknowledging that King County is a leader in advancing equitable policies and practices based on sexual orientation and gender identity, King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed June 2023 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month. “I urge everyone to honor the fight against discrimination and the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people to our County and our society,” the Executive said in his proclamation. Read the full proclamation below.
Part I explored the evolution of the King County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). Part II told the story of how a mental health professional became an official part of the team after years of volunteering. The final segment illustrates how they put it all together. An incredible partnership Over the last several years, there have been many improvements implemented in the partnership between TAC 30 and the Crisis Negotiation Team that have made KCSO into a leader in the crisis field. “We’re ahead of our peers in having a mental… Read More
Part I explored the evolution of the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). Part II brings the story of how a mental health professional (MHP) became an official member of the team after years of volunteering. Part II: A mental health professional’s perspective “There was a suicidal gentleman on an overpass, just leaning and staring at the pavement below,” said mental health professional Susie Kroll. “We had to stop traffic for five or six hours.” The first 90 minutes were like talking to a wall, she added, but negotiators were able to convince him… Read More
Several Health Support Programs are available to employees and family members covered by King County medical plans. These programs provide extra support when you need it, for example, when you need help understanding a new diagnosis, managing a chronic condition, or handling an illness. Program representatives may contact you by phone or email to provide additional information. A summary is provided below. For details, go to Health Support Programs. Omada Diabetes Prevention: Offered to Regence and Kaiser Permanente members If you or a family member are at risk for Type 2 diabetes,… Read More
When the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team is called on, it’s because there is a potentially dangerous event that requires highly skilled personnel. Whether it’s an active shooter or hostage situation or virtually any serious case, TAC 30 — commonly called a SWAT team in most places — is sent in to secure and resolve the situation. What’s unique about the KCSO TAC 30 is whenever they get a call, the Crisis Negotiation Team goes on alert. The Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is a group trained in the fine art… Read More
King County Executive Dow Constantine has proclaimed May 21-27 as Emergency Medical Services Week in recognition of the important work these medical professionals provide to our community, including saving lives, responding to crises, and serving as a model for the federal Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973, now celebrating its 50th year. Executive Constantine encourages all residents of King County to show their gratitude and appreciation to these valuable providers. Read the full proclamation below.
Starting June 15, the Fourth Avenue entrance to the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle will be closed for necessary repairs, and the Third Avenue entrance will reopen to resume serving as the primary access point to the building moving forward. Employees, jurors, and other visitors to the Courthouse Building should allow additional time to gain access and clear security screening on Third Avenue during this transition. Temporary signage will be installed to provide directions to users of the building. King County employees will still be able to access the Courthouse Building… Read More
The WA Cares Fund is a new long-term care insurance program administered by the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). With limited exceptions, workers in Washington are required to contribute to the WA Cares Fund via mandatory payroll deduction beginning July 1, 2023. The premium has been set at 0.58% of gross wages (58 cents per $100). The initial maximum value of the benefit will be $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation). Exemptions to the WA Cares Fund You may be eligible for a… Read More
For personal life challenges, Making Life Easier (MLE) provides free counseling and support services to all King County employees, their dependent family members, and anyone living in an employee’s home. MLE offers referrals to therapists and coverage for eight free sessions per topic per year. Many therapists also contract with the Regence and Kaiser Permanente Health Plans so MLE can make a referral for you to a therapist who is also in your health plan network. In that way, if you need more than eight sessions, your health plan benefits will cover… Read More
This year, Mental Health America has focused Mental Health Month on encouraging us to “Look around, Look within,” sharing suggestions on ways to improve our surroundings in order to improve our mental health, and how to seek help for mental health challenges. Optimizing our space to improve our mental health is something that anyone can benefit from. It is one tool of many that can be used to improve and support your mental well-being. Go to the Balanced You blog for helpful some tips to shape your home environment, improve sleep quality and… Read More
The King County Veterans and Military Affinity Group and King County Veteran’s Program would like to remind all County employees who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces that the Veteran’s Administration (VA) has launched a new appointment scheduler to connect you with VA Benefits Counselors. The Visitor Engagement Reporting Application (VERA) is a streamlined scheduling process for in-person or online appointments to learn about your benefits and how to navigate the VA’s processes. This is a useful resource for those with questions about benefit eligibility, or in need of assistance filing… Read More
Crossposted from Metro Matters King County Metro will increase reliability and build resiliency with its fall update to transit schedules. The agency currently is delivering 95% of more than 11,200 daily bus trips while facing challenges with canceled trips. The changes beginning in September will ensure riders can have confidence knowing that Metro will be there no matter where they need to go. To ensure transit services are in sync with fleet availability and its workforce, Metro will focus upcoming revisions on 20 low-ridership routes, and 92% of boardings will not be… Read More
Crossposted from Keeping King County Green King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) is excited to announce that we received awards in four categories from the National Association of Government Communicators, the most prestigious awards in our industry. The Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards were announced during this year’s national conference hosted on April 19 in Portland. Working Without a Net We received first place in the Working Without a Net category for a hosting a dual livestream aboard our research vessel, SoundGuardian, as scientists measured the underwater noise of Puget Sound that… Read More
Several King County departments participated in last Friday’s Women in Trades Fair at Seattle Center. Hear from two Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) employees – operators Alyssa Moreno and Kylie Turner – about their experiences in their jobs and working at WTD. Follow King County on LinkedIn for news about fellow employees, job opportunities, county initiatives, and more.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Executive’s Performance Excellence Awards, which honor employees and workgroups at King County who bring a Best-Run Government approach to their work, and have made exceptional contributions in performance, leadership, and innovation. In a series of videos, several King County leaders, including King County Executive Dow Constantine, announced the recipients of the eight Performance Excellence Awards: five innovation awards – people, cost, service, sustainability, and equity and social justice – and three leadership awards – for people leaders, individual contributors, and the Fred Jarrett Leadership Excellence… Read More
King County employees can take advantage of many exclusive discounts this summer. These include stays at Great Wolf Lodge, visits to Woodland Park Zoo, home buying classes and information, gym memberships, different mobile phone plans, and more. To view all available employee discounts, visit www.kingcounty.gov/employeediscounts.
For Mental Health Month, Balanced You is highlighting mental health resources to help employees in times of need. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free and confidential county resource that provides county employees with counseling and coaching around work related concerns and problems, including: Workplace stress Coaching and consulting Conflict with co-workers Supervisor support Opportunities and changes in the workplace EAP is for employees only. To make an appointment with an EAP counselor, call 206-263-8733, or email HRDEAP@kingcounty.gov. An EAP counselor will respond to you within 24 hours.
The second and final application period for the 2023 Coalition Labor Agreement Professional Development Scholarship is now open. This period will remain open May 8 – June 4, 2023, to pay for training that will begin anytime between July 1 – Dec. 31, 2023. Awardees for this second period will be notified via email no later than July 21, 2023. For more information and to see dates for the 2024 program year, go to the Professional Development Scholarship website, watch the Employee Information Session video or email ScholarshipFund@kingcounty.gov. The scholarship is part of the County’s commitment to Investing… Read More
Crossposted from Public Health Insider When the COVID-19 pandemic first began here in the US, the federal government put in place special emergency declarations that allowed them to rapidly respond to the spread of COVID-19 as well as addressing financial barriers to COVID-19-related care. On May 11, 2023, the Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration ends, which means there will be changes to how some people receive COVID-19-related care, like testing, treatment, and vaccines. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not over The expiration of the emergency declaration does not mean that the pandemic is over… Read More
Warren Kagarise, digital engagement manager, was recently named Social Media Professional of the Year by Government Social Media. Warren, a member of KCIT’s Design and Civic Engagement Team since 2017, works with King County departments and agencies to improve social media strategy, policies, and content, and enhance digital engagement through email, text messages, and other tools. The Social Media Professional of the Year award honors a social media professional in government who is known in the space for their work, while being committed to supporting and teaching fellow communicators. Warren accepted the… Read More