Join our Team: DAJD Recruiters make a pitch

For Corrections Officer Edward Duenas, this career fair was on familiar ground.

Duenas retired from an Army career out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Since then, he’s worked eight-plus years as a King County corrections officer.

So the recent event at JBLM’s American Lake Conference Center came naturally.

Corrections Officer Edward Duenas talks to a potential recruit at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord career fair.

“I know the lingo,” Duenas said, as he prepared to field questions from the soldiers and Air Force personnel milling about the room. “To me it’s a little easier.”

King County’s Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention (DAJD), like other corrections agencies near and far, has been competing to recruit and retain new employees.

The job-networking site recently showed more than 50 openings with correctional agencies in Washington state. To gain an edge in this workers’ marketplace, King County is offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus for lateral hires with prior experience as a corrections officer or a juvenile detention officer; those who have no prior experience could still land a $5,000 hiring bonus in those jobs. (Employees who currently work for King County are ineligible for this incentive. Sorry!)

There’s plenty of competition for qualified workers. Staffing shortages are hitting public safety agencies, as well as industries as varied as public transit, health care and grocery stores.

Enter Officer Duenas and his fellow DAJD recruiters. Virtually and in person, corrections officers, juvenile detention officers and HR analysts have been out scouting for qualified applicants. Recent events have included the Snohomish County Career Fair in Everett and the Diversity Career Fair in Bellevue. A virtual career fair is planned for late October with Saint Martin’s University, Seattle Pacific University, University of Puget Sound, and Lewis & Clark College.

During the August career far at JBLM, Duenas connected with 10 to 12 people, often discussing retirement and benefits for the military and King County. He’s been there himself.

“I’m able to give them timelines on both sides,” he said.

For more information about openings for Corrections Officers and Juvenile Detention Officers in King County, click on the links below or visit DAJD’s careers page:

Corrections Officer Entry Level & Lateral

Juvenile Detention Officer