Influential Individuals: Developing Lean leaders to transform our organization

Crossposted from Lean in King County Lean leaders aren’t always in a position of authority – but they are in a position to influence (as we all are to one degree or another). Regardless of their formal role, Lean leaders are trained to nurture continuous improvement through facilitation and coaching, which can positively impact and promote culture change. Employees trained in Lean leadership have learned the comprehensive elements of Lean and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Lean leaders can guide teams through improvement processes and teach them to use Lean tools to build… Read More

Executive appoints Alex Fryer as new communications director

King County Executive Dow Constantine has appointed Alex Fryer to serve as his new communications director, effective Aug. 1, 2016. Fryer has extensive background and experience in both public and private sector communications, most recently as Vice President of Public Affairs for The Fearey Group, a local media and government relations firm. “Alex Fryer’s exceptional knowledge and expertise in communications, and in community outreach and engagement, will help advance our work on equity and social justice, climate change, regional mobility, implementing our groundbreaking Best Starts for Kids initiative, and continuing to build… Read More

Public Health’s hidden gem

Dear fellow King County employee, Sometimes things of great value are hidden in plain sight. That was my sense on Tuesday, July 12 when I had the pleasure of a short drop-in to visit with our employees at the Downtown Public Health Clinic at Fourth and Blanchard in Belltown. Despite the short time available, it didn’t take long to see the dedication and hard work of our committed Public Health staff up close. The site is actually several clinics in one, with staff and services tailored for the needs of specific communities,… Read More

Executive Constantine signs legislation to invest $87 million in workforce housing around transit stations

With rents and housing prices out of reach throughout the region, King County Executive Dow Constantine today joined with County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove and housing advocates to sign legislation to invest up to $87 million for creation of more than 1,000 units of affordable workforce housing near new or existing transit stations. “Today, we celebrate landmark legislation to create vibrant, mixed-income neighborhoods with affordable housing near transit centers,” said Executive Constantine. “It’s an innovative approach to connect more communities across King County to jobs and opportunity.” Read more in the official press release.

Hot Topics: Exec talks about career growth and advancement in new video

King County Executive Dow Constantine used the launch of a new employee video series, “Hot Topics,” to talk about one of the biggest issues that came out of last year’s Employee Survey: career growth and advancement. “It’s clear that we aren’t doing enough to provide genuine, equitable career development and growth opportunities for all employees, and that’s something that I am committed to fixing,” Executive Constantine said. “That’s because I want King County to be a place where you can pursue your passion for public service and take your career in a… Read More

Soundgarden helps Executive launch the SoundGuardian, King County’s new environmental research vessel

Members of the iconic Seattle band Soundgarden help Executive Constantine launch the SoundGuardian, King County’s new environmental research vessel. The new 48-foot vessel will be used by field scientists at the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks to collect samples in Puget Sound, Lake Washington and the Duwamish River. For more information view the video on King County TV or read more in the official press release..

Becoming a great place to work

King County was recently named to Forbes Magazine’s list of the 500 best places to work in America, the first time the County has appeared on the list. In his latest employee video, King County Executive Dow Constantine talks about what this national recognition means as well as what we’re doing to become a more supportive, empowering employer. Watch the video below:  

Message from Executive Constantine: Amid terror, hope and courage

Dear fellow King County employee, The mass shooting in Orlando – the deadliest in modern U.S. history – is shocking. An outrage. But yet somehow, sadly, not unexpected. Years of hateful rhetoric in our nation’s politics and press has predictably led angry, fearful, frustrated individuals to misdirect the blame for their own disappointing lives toward the “other” – people of another race, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation. The addition of easy access to military-grade weapons, as we have seen over and over, can quickly turn these warped beliefs into unspeakable… Read More

From the Hip: Natasha Jones, Director of Customer Service

King County customer service: making it easier, faster, and better “So what do you do?” Love it or hate it, this common ice breaker question often becomes an opportunity for me to tell people about the great work county employees do, and how I get to help people and make our government better through my job. As Director of Customer Service, for the past five years my team and I have worked with employees from every department to improve how the county delivers its service by focusing on four main areas: Developing… Read More

From the Hip: Lorinda Youngcourt, Director, Department of Public Defense

A promising program helps young people take charge of their lives As public defenders, we’re often representing people who have already experienced considerable trauma in their lives, people in need of much more than a good criminal defense lawyer. We represent people who are homeless and mentally ill, who are poor and jobless, who have few resources and little support. That’s why I’m so pleased when we’re able to take steps that help to address some of the underlying issues that bring a person into the criminal justice system. And one such… Read More