Five questions with Jesse Kent, Project/Program Manager III, Department of Local Services  

When did you start in your role with King County, and what is your official title? 

I started at King County in March 2019. I am the Manager for the Service Partnership Program within the Department of Local Services (DLS). The department works to ensure the local service needs of unincorporated communities are met. We have created service partnerships with other King County departments to help determine needs, better coordinate services, and monitor service delivery in the unincorporated areas. These partnerships help to define the relationship, services and processes in unincorporated King County between Local Services and other County agencies. 

Before coming to King County I was doing research and working on my degree in particle physics. While doing this I started thinking about my future long-term and realized I’d like to get back to public service. When a friend recommended I apply to a position at King County, I did. 

What do you do in your role? 

My work varies. Part of it is managing relationships with service partners, and producing the Local Services quarterly report. The report pulls together data from across partner agencies and other sources on service delivery in our various community service areas. I also help Local Services with performance management and special projects that require technical data analysis. 

Why did you choose this field as your career? 

I chose this field because I like to work on and solve problems with a team in a data driven way and this seemed like a great place to do that. The people in Local Services are wonderful to work with and are committed to making the lives of unincorporated area residents better. I really appreciate the way that King County is vested in its employee’s personal and professional wellbeing, and the County’s values resonate with me and how I want to approach my work. 

What is the biggest challenge of your job? 

Honestly, scheduling and coordinating with people from across the county and its varied lines of business. I really dislike planning meetings and things that resemble party planning, so it’s a bit of a tongue in cheek answer.  

What do you enjoy most about your work? 

I really enjoy the people I work with both service partners in other agencies, and the people in the Local Services Director’s office.  Also, there is great variety in my work and in the things King County does in unincorporated areas, I don’t have very many boring days. It’s great to learn about all of these services.