1. 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.
3. What will you be responsible for in your new role? In collaboration with the Human Resource Division and King County’s Division of Developmental Disabilities, I will be responsible for the coordination and administration of King County’s Supported Employment Program, which offers a creative and cost-effective approach to meeting business needs and including people with developmental disabilities in the workforce. I will provide additional support to managers, human resources, supported employees and employment agencies to increase satisfaction and address areas of concern. I will support departments in identifying new tasks for current supported employees in collaboration with the employment agencies as well as assist in the recruitment and hiring of individuals with developmental disabilities.
4. What is the biggest challenge in the role? Growing the program and increasing the number of supported employees within our current workforce. I also think some of the most challenging parts of my role will be navigating the many priorities that will come my way as I address the various needs of King County and supported employees.
5. What do you most hope to achieve in the role? I hope to share my passion for employment of individuals with disabilities with King County. As Executive Constantine stated during his State of the County address, King County has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the nation at 4.5% and yet individuals with disabilities have an unemployment or underemployment rate of 79%. In this role, I hope to make an impact to decrease that number and help others understand that employing individuals with disabilities isn’t about supporting another program. It’s about hiring talented individuals from an untapped workforce that help businesses to be more innovative and accomplish their goals.