WTD named a Diversity Leader

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division was recognized as a 2014 diversity leader in engineering and information technology by the magazine Diversity/Careers, joining organizations like IBM, the U.S. Navy and Microsoft.

The woman-owned publication is targeted to women and minority groups interested in careers in engineering and information technology. The magazine asked its online readers to look at a list of companies and organizations to identify which ones exemplified workforce and supplier diversity. Participants had an option to add or delete organizations from the list.  WTD Diversity Award Certificate_Page_1

WTD was one of the five organizations selected under the Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure category. The other organizations under the category were Baker Hughes, CH2M Hill, HNTB, Turner Construction Company and URS Corporation.

The division has implemented recruiting techniques and job training programs to attract a diverse workforce. One of its latest efforts is an “operator in training” program where  a trainee can work and gain the experience required to obtain wastewater treatment operator certifications. They also offer summer internships with the hopes the positions bring in a large spectrum of students and future employees.

“It’s a way to improve. We’re trying to look beyond, of course, just ethnic and gender. We want diversity in thought as well,” Sr. Human Resources Analyst Steve Namkung said.

WTD provides training consistent with King County’s Equity and Social Justice objectives and works to recruit from non-traditional sources such as Superfund Job Training Initiative, a job readiness program that provides training and employment opportunities for people living in communities affected by Superfund sites, and Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW). Within the division, four generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X’s and Millennials) make up its nearly 600 employees, ensuring a diverse mix of experience, new ideas and different perspectives.

“Diversity of thought is going to create innovation and create new ways of doing things,” Namkung said. “We really try to approach recruitment from a balanced perspective.”

For more information on the award, click here.