Disability doesn’t stop dancing employee

If you happen to see a man busting a move while cleaning up hedge trimmings or emptying a trash can at Marymoor Park, it’s probably Parks Specialist Dwight Lewis. Dwight has been with parks for 17 years and his enthusiasm for the work is showing no signs of waning. “He actually makes people on our crew want to be better at what they do,” Andy Boland, Parks Maintenance Coordinator, said. “He pushes us, he comes in with a lot of energy, positive attitude, and it’s really what we need; he’s a spark… Read More

Breaking down barriers with Supported Employment: Jodeen Wieser

Jodeen Wieser is a 20-year employee with King County’s Environmental Lab, a Lab Assistant who performs a wide range of essential tasks that help the Lab do its work of collecting, analyzing and monitoring samples that protect our local environment. Jodeen is also a supported employee through a King County program that pairs her with a job coach to help with learning new skills, communication and any other issues that arise. “When you meet someone with a disability that maybe is a different picture of what you thought someone was or what… Read More

Explore Race and Social Justice through Literature Out Loud

“We are human only if I see myself in you and if you see yourself in me.” These lines are from a poem called “Dialectic” by Quenton Baker, one of eight literary artists selected to present their work to King County employees in a series of symposia in 2016 called “Reflecting on Race and Racism through Spoken Word, Story, and Conversation.” The presentations offer King County employees the opportunity to explore equity and social justice issues through the personal and intimate art of “literature out loud.” Writers will read or perform their work… Read More

Celebrating 10 years of helping youth with disabilities find jobs

With more than 1,100 students served over 10 years, King County’s School-to-Work program has plenty of reasons to celebrate. On October 12, 2015, as part of National Disability Employment Awareness month, the Department of Community and Human Services Developmental Disabilities Division celebrated 10 successful years of the program and 1,136 students served by hosting a gathering of partners and stakeholders at the Southcenter Double Tree. “The School-to-Work Program helps youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout King County seek and gain employment prior to exiting their high school transition programs,” Richard Wilson,… Read More

Breaking down job barriers for people with disabilities

October is Disability Awareness Month and King County is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and 25 years of hiring people with developmental disabilities into the work place. In 1990, the King County Council created the Supported Employment Program in response to the issue of employment inequity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Supported Employment Program matches job seekers with developmental disabilities to jobs by identifying efficiencies and unmet needs throughout King County government. One of those employees is Brooke, a mail clerk with King… Read More

Untapped Potential: Behavioral Health Employment Program helps individuals with disabilities join the workforce

At a recent employment resource fair, staff from the King County Behavioral Health Supported Employment Program ran into Tiffany Turner, a graduate of the program. Tiffany now works full time as a manager at the Recovery Café, a community of support for individuals who have experienced trauma, mental health and/or substance use issues. As a single parent of three children, Turner had many challenges trying to raise her children with limited resources or support from others. She found herself overwhelmed and unaware of the symptoms of her illness or how to use… Read More

Employees celebrate “Equity for All” at Pride Parade

In the wake of a landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, more than 300 King County employees, along with their families and friends, joined together to march in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 28. Tens of thousands of people decked out in rainbow colors thronged Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and celebrate the decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The One King County group was one of the largest in this year’s parade, wearing bright “Equity for… Read More

Show your Pride this weekend

On Sunday, June 28, King County employees, along with their family and friends, will be marching together for the first time ever in the annual Seattle LGBT Pride Parade. Led by King County Executive Dow Constantine, employees from across the County will take part in the parade in support of the “Equity for All – One King County” theme. “I invite you, your family, and friends to join me and hundreds of fellow King County employees from across our divisions, departments, and branches of government to march as One King County in… Read More

Bridge Fellows graduate from development program

The first cohort of Bridge Fellows have graduated from the inaugural Bridge Fellowship program, part of King County’s commitment to empowering and developing its employees. The Bridge Fellowship program selected applicants from across the County to participate in a one-year leadership development program designed to advance participants’ careers with King County. The employees who participated in the program learned more about King County as an organization, shadowed employees in other County roles, created development plans for growth, and worked collaboratively on a team project designed to extend the knowledge of Equity and Social Justice across… Read More

2015 MLK Celebration focused on voting rights

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed not possessing the right to vote was similar to enslavement. “[A right to vote] enables all Americans, most especially those who have been denied other rights, to participate fully in their community, this country and our world,” said Maria Gitin, the Keynote speaker at King County’s 28th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, held on Thursday, January 15, at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. Gitin joined the civil rights movement in 1965 at the age of 19 to work for the Summer Community Organization and Political Education… Read More