Recruiting new employees from King County’s “Communities of Opportunity”

As part of the ongoing work to dismantle racial injustice that can persist in our policies and systems, KCDOT recently partnered with staff from the County’s Communities of Opportunity initiative and the Department of Community and Human Services to recruit new employees for entry-level and journey-level job openings.

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(Photo: Dan Bernard)

More than 170 jobseekers received valuable information about jobs and tips for applying online, at the event held Nov. 16 at the YWCA Learning Center at Greenbridge in White Center. Staff worked with community-based partners and WorkSource providers to get the word out and increase access to jobs to more candidates from traditionally underserved and under-represented communities. Nearly three-fourths of the attendees were people of color, nearly a third were women, and 40 percent came from targeted Communities of Opportunity of Rainier Valley, White Center, SeaTac, and Tukwila.

Twenty KCDOT staff, including hiring managers and employees who are doing the work daily, shared what it’s really like on the job. Fulton Johnson told his story of working up from a journey-level position as a Maintenance Painter to his current special duty assignment as a Chief for Metro’s Facilities Maintenance. “I was able to speak with many excited individuals, most of whom were just unsure of the process,” he said. “They were put at ease, and many told me they now feel there is job opportunity for them at King County.”

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Human resource analyst Josh Isgur with Metro Transit speaks with jobseekers (Photo: Dan Bernard)

Other positions for which KCDOT recruited at the event were Roads maintenance workers and Metro bus drivers, diesel mechanics, and maintenance workers to clean buses and transit facilities.

Ivette Martinez-Morales, a human resource supervisor, shared an important tip for potential recruits: “Print out the job description and highlight the job duties that match the kinds of work you’ve done before. Then when you fill out your job application, you can more easily tie in your past experience with the job you want.”

“Applying for an entry-level position as a rail car cleaner, part-time operator, or a road worker can become the start of a career with King County,” she added. “The first step is to apply and get your foot in the door.”

Targeted outreach such as this helps us advance the County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan and achieve our goal of a more culturally-responsive workforce at all levels.