Chief of Inventory Maintenance - Vehicle Maintenance

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Maintenance
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Posted on June 7, 2021

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About the Transit Chief - Vehicle Maintenance (Chief of Inventory Maintenance)

The role of the Chief of Inventory Maintenance is critical to the management and oversight of the daily operations of Transit and the service we provide. Transit Chiefs provide policy direction, create an environment that models customer service, work collaboratively with union leaders and others within the organization, and are a resource to employees at the worksite.
Our Transit Chiefs demonstrate support for the goals of the organization in providing quality public service and collaboratively working with other sections and departments, while recognizing the value of diversity of opinion, culture, and perspective.


Bring your safe work practice, your collaborative work style, your desire to work in a diverse work environment and your excitement to make a difference to Metro! Come be part of an award winning and forward-thinking organization.

About Metro Transit Vehicle Maintenance

Metro Transit's Vehicle Maintenance Division takes pride in meeting our customers' expectations for safe, dependable, clean, and environmentally sound vehicles. Maintenance of Metro's bus fleet takes place at seven bus bases and at our central Component Supply Center where specialized work is done. The majority of Metro's buses are hybrids, followed by diesel, electric trolley, and several battery-electric buses. Metro has long been an innovator in green vehicle technology and plans to transition to battery-electric buses as we move toward our goal of a zero-emission fleet. Our Division is committed to working in a timely, cost effective, and environmentally sensitive manner, and values teamwork, communication, diversity, and social justice.


Safety Sensitive Position

This position is considered safety sensitive. Applicants for positions defined as safety sensitive are required to undergo drug testing prior to employment, and subsequent to commencement of employment, will be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return to duty and follow-up drug and alcohol testing in compliance with Federal DOT alcohol and controlled substances testing program protocols.

Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principlesis a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. As the Chief of Inventory Maintenance, you will:

  • Direct and oversee materials and inventory management operations; supervise, plan and review the work of skilled journey-level Purchasing and Parts specialists and other craft work engaged in the procurement, storage, inventory and distribution of coach, trolley and related parts and materials; plan, forecast and maintain procurement and maintenance of inventories at most cost effective levels while maintaining demand availability; supervise parts room operations, cycle-counts and parts/material distribution logistics.
  • Supervise the acquisition, receipt, storage and disbursement of maintenance related parts and materials required to support operations; authorize purchases to level of assigned authority.
  • Supervise maintenance of and data input to automated fleet maintenance, scheduling, and related information systems.
  • Monitor shop records including work orders, warranty/rebuild part information, completed repairs and materials used; enter and extract data in automated vehicle maintenance systems; monitor completed work assignments for quality assurance and proper operation.
  • Monitor, manage and oversee the safety program for assigned work area; establish and maintain a safe working environment; oversee and ensure the proper use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials in compliance with federal, state and agency regulations and requirements.
  • Direct and ensure timely and appropriate response to service disruptions, weather emergencies and critical incidents; coordinate response with Superintendent, Transit Operations Center and other internal and external agencies as appropriate; investigate and prepare response to customer complaints regarding vehicle maintenance operations, services and staff.
  • Identify, evaluate, and recommend service, quality, workplace, and business process improvements; monitor daily labor costs and modify operations when necessary to achieve performance improvement targets while maintaining established vehicle maintenance and transit service levels.
  • Establish and maintain a collaborative and effective labor relations environment; ensure daily operations and personnel actions conform with the terms of negotiated agreements; confer with labor representatives to discuss and resolve issues; escalate issues to Superintendent or Transit Labor Relations staff as appropriate; may be delegated authority for first-step grievance determinations on a case-by-case basis; testify at arbitration, unemployment and related hearings as requested.
  • Manage employee absenteeism, vacation change requests, sick/injury leaves and related ADA/FMLA/KCFML/WFLA processes and requirements for assigned employees; review and approve leave requests consistent with staffing needs, employee preferences where possible, and applicable County policy/procedures and bargaining agreements; review, correct and approve payroll; administer federal safety-sensitive drug and alcohol testing program for assigned employees.
  • Interview and recommend selection of assigned staff; provide employees with training and development opportunities as available; counsel staff on effective customer relations and safety strategies; evaluate staff performance through record reviews and employee  performance appraisals as necessary; counsel employees in performance improvement requirements when needed; conduct investigations into allegations of employee misconduct, harassment, negligence, policy/procedure violations and similar assertions; determine appropriate follow-up actions including counseling, training and appropriate disciplinary actions in consultation with the Superintendent, Human Resources and Labor Relations as required.
  • Ensure compliance with all Vehicle Maintenance, Transit Division and County policies and procedures governing safety sensitive positions, employment, worker safety and related areas as well as with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
  • May be assigned to participate in internal and external work groups, project teams, committees, and task forces; coordinate operations, service delivery and operating needs with appropriate staff throughout the Transit Division as required.
  • Act as Superintendent as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

At a minimum, to qualify for this position you will need:

  • Knowledge of transit operations and the principles, practices and methodologies involved in the delivery of mass transit services.
  • Knowledge of large-scale fleet maintenance operations and effective preventive maintenance principles, practices, and techniques.
  • Knowledge of the regulatory and statutory requirements that apply to transit vehicle maintenance.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of performance management.
  • Knowledge of effective supervisory principles and practices as well as federal, state, and local laws related to employment, civil rights, and affirmative action.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of labor relations including interest-based or collaborative labor negotiations, grievance and arbitration processes and relevant labor agreements.
  • Knowledge of fundamental human resource practices and workforce planning.
  • Knowledge of automated fleet maintenance management information systems.
  • Skill in establishing effective working relationships and communicating successfully with senior management, labor representatives, customers, and staff
  • Skill in achieving performance and operational goals.
  • Skill in staff development and training.
  • Skill in conflict resolution, problem solving and negotiation.
  • Skill in managing and working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Desirable qualifications include: (This experience is not required; applicants with this experience should highlight it, however applicants without this experience are not meant to be dissuaded from applying. If you don’t already have this experience and you are hired for this position, you can look forward to expanding your skillset in this position.) 

  • Three years of increasingly responsible experience relative to the Transit Chief position, including at least two years in a supervisory or lead capacity.
  • Large fleet management experience related to preventative maintenance and repair.
  • Experience implementing LEAN and/or other continuous improvement concepts in work processes. 
  • Project management training and/or experience.

Necessary Special Requirements:

  • All applicants must be 21 years old at time of application.
  • A valid Washington State driver license and acceptable driving record.
  • Must pass drug and alcohol testing provision for safety-sensitive positions as required by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 49 CFR Parts 40 and 655.
  • Willingness and availability to work varying shifts on weekdays, nights, weekends, and holidays as required for shift assignment and consistent with negotiated agreements
  • Work may require remaining available for work 24 hours per day during rotational assignments as on-call Vehicle Maintenance Chief.
  • Work may require reporting for extended duty during adverse weather events and other emergencies.

Supplemental Information

Who May Apply
This position is open to the general public and all King County employees.


Application and Selection Process

An online employment application, completion of the supplemental questionnaire, and a cover letter that specifically explains your interest in the position you are applying for are required. Your completed application must show all jobs in the last 10 years if you have 10 years of employment. (If you have less than ten years of employment history, list information for all years you have.) It is highly recommended that you also include an entry for every relevant job you have had before then, with correct dates and complete description of duties and reasons for leaving. Applicants will be screened for completeness, competitiveness, and written communication skills. Applications that do not include a cover letter may be removed from the evaluation process.

Candidates who demonstrate clearly through their application materials how they meet or exceed the minimum qualifications and ideal candidate profile will be invited to participate in first-round panel interviews. Candidates who pass the first-round interview process will advance to final interviews. The most competitive candidates from the final interview process will proceed to reference verifications or a record review process.

Interview Information
There will be two rounds of panel interviews. All interviews will be conducted using Microsoft Teams; a computer and camera will be required. Candidates must be available to interview on the published dates, if selected.

  • First round interviews will take place the week of July 6th 
  • Final interviews will take place the week of July 19

Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, being hired will be contingent on passing all requirements outlined for King County safety-sensitive positions. Those requirements include: an acceptable five-year driving record, satisfactory reference checks, checks for any drug testing administered by your last two years' employers, and passing a pre-employment drug screen and physical.

Vacancy Information

This recruitment will be used to fill one career service position.


Applications received may be used to establish a list or pool of eligible candidates to fill future vacancies in the same classification that might occur over the following 12 months at the discretion of the hiring authority.


Work Schedule
These positions are FLSA exempt and therefore not eligible for overtime pay. Typical schedules are Monday through Friday, 6:00 am through 2:30 pm, with a base of 40 hours per week. Employees in this position may be required to remain available for work 24 hours per day during rotational assignments, and work may require reporting for extended duty during adverse weather events and other emergencies.

Union Representation
Positions in this classification are represented by Professional and Technical Employees Local 17 - Chiefs Unit.


Classification Code



For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Robin St. James (she/her)
Human Resources Talent Advisor
Forbes recently named King County one of Washington State's best employers.


Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles- we are one team; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.


King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer. No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.


To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application process, or if you have questions please contact Robin St. James via email at

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

As a reminder, a cover letter is a required attachment to your application. Have you attached a cover letter? If not, you can attach one now.
  • Yes
  • No
How many years of journey-level experience do you have in inventory management, material management, and/or supply chain management?
  • Six or more years
  • At least four years, but less than six years
  • At least two years, but less than four years
  • Some experience, but less than two years
  • None
For the question above, please provide the name(s) of the employer(s) where you gained this experience. Please make sure this experience is reflected in the job history section of your application. If no experience is noted above, please enter "N/A" as your answer here.
How many years were spent in a lead or supervisory capacity?
  • Four or more years
  • At least two, but less than four years
  • Some experience, but less than two years
  • None
List the employer(s) where you obtained this experience. If no experience is noted above, please enter "N/A" as your answer here.
Have you completed coursework in supervision and/or management?
  • Yes
  • No
If you entered "yes" above, please list where and when you completed this coursework and if a certification was obtained. If you answered "no", please enter "N/A".
Do you have experience implementing LEAN and/or other continuous improvement concepts in work processes? If you answer "yes", this information should be highlighted in the work experience section of your application.
  • Yes
  • No
Do you have project management training and/or experience? If you answer "yes", this information should be highlighted in the work experience section of your application.
  • Yes
  • No
Please indicate the programs below in which you have working knowledge and a demonstrated proficiency in.
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • M5 Software
  • Other fleet management software
  • None of the above
Have you tested positive, or refused to test, on any pre-employment drug or alcohol test administered by an employer to which you applied, but did not get hired, for safety-sensitive transportation work covered by the DOT drug and alcohol testing rules during the past two years?
  • Yes
  • No
If yes, for which employer and when? If no, please answer, "N/A".
Are you 21 years of age at time of application?
  • Yes
  • No
Do you currently possess a valid Driver License?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you had a driver license in a state other than Washington in the last five years?
  • Yes
  • No
Has your license been suspended in the last five years? If yes, please indicate how many times, regardless of reason.
  • One time
  • More than once
  • My license has not been suspended in the last five years
If your license has been suspended in the last five years, please indicate the reason below. Check all that apply.
  • Moving violation(s)
  • Unpaid parking ticket(s)
  • Unpaid traffic ticket(s)
  • Child support arrears
  • My license has not been suspended in the last five years
Do you have any of the following violation on your driving record in the last five years? Select all that apply.
  • Reckless or negligent driving
  • DWI/DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
  • Hit and run incident for which you were ticketed
  • Vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
  • Open container violation
  • More than one at-fault accident
  • None of the above
If you have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, will you need accommodation in the testing process? If you answer yes, the human resources staff person coordinating the testing for this recruitment will contact you asking for additional information. This confidential information is solicited for the purposes of providing reasonable accommodation only.
  • Yes
  • No
Are you applying to this position as an eligible Current or Previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant AND Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question