Health and Environmental Investigator I and II - Hazardous Waste Management Program

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Health Care Provider
Posted on October 6, 2021
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Summary

The Hazardous Waste Management Program is seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated Health & Environmental Investigator I/II (HEI) for our Residential Services Program. A key responsibility of this position is to provide individual case management and in-home assessments to families of children with elevated blood lead levels. The HEI will work closely with families, particularly women and children from refugee and immigrant communities. This work requires an individual who is willing to understand the needs of these families and provide services in a manner that is consistent with the family’s values, beliefs, and practices.  It also requires awareness and sensitivity to the historical and present-day trauma that people in many of our communities carry. The successful candidate will be able to approach this work with humility and an openness to self-reflection and learning.  

This work also involves using a community-centered approach to help plan, implement, and evaluate projects designed to reduce exposure to hazardous materials in the home. The HEI will work in partnership with others to provide public education, outreach, and awareness on hazardous materials found in the home, advise residents on ways to reduce exposure, and evaluate community adoption of any recommended actions. Project teams are currently working in partnership with community-based organizations to encourage safer cleaning practices. However, the successful candidate should be prepared to work on a wide array of topics pertaining to hazardous materials in the home.


ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES DIVISION:
Through the work of over 150 dedicated employees, the Environmental Health Services Division identifies and sustains environmental conditions that promote health equity and healthy people and communities in Seattle and King County.  Our vision is healthy, safe, and vibrant communities that are free of health disparities based on race, gender, or economic status.  The Division’s core values include equity and social justice, integrity, community service, collaboration, a supportive work culture, and learning from each other and the communities we serve.
 
To learn more, please visit https://www.kingcounty.gov/ehs.
 
 
ABOUT THE HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM:
 The Hazardous Waste Management Program is a coalition of local governments. Partners work in multi-agency teams, drawing on their strengths and expertise to protect public health and the environment. At the Hazardous Waste Management Program, we come to work every day because we want to protect and improve public and environmental quality in King County. Together with our partners, we’re working towards a shared vison: A Puget Sound region that’s the cleanest county, free from hazardous chemical exposure. To learn more about the Program, please visit https://www.kingcountyhazawastewa.gov.
 
COMMITMENT TO EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: 
As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.
 
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts.
 
To learn more, please visit http://www.kingcounty.gov/equity

Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principles is 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. You will also:
 
Provide ongoing services to residents*  

  • Reduce lead exposures in children with elevated blood lead levels. Perform case management, conduct in-home lead assessments, provide recommendations to the families and follow-up on their progress.
  • Educate the public, community partners, and others on strategies to reduce childhood exposure to lead and other toxics. Efforts may include holding workshops and public events, providing information to the media, and contributing to educational materials.
  • Respond to requests for assistance from the public on hazardous materials in and around their homes. Give priority to marginalized communities, including low income, refugee, people of color and other communities at the greatest risk of harm from exposure to hazardous materials.
  • Build relationships with key contacts in the community and other potential collaborators.
  • Use culturally appropriate communications and strategies for audiences, including those who don’t speak English as their primary language. 
Work on community-centered projects  
  • Center community voices to ensure that racial equity is integral to the development and implementation of all program strategies. Learn about current community practices for handling hazardous materials and recommend strategies for reducing risk.
  • Gather information for evidence-based planning and evaluation. This may include information about chemical hazards, impacted communities, and options for safer products.
  • Identify options for changing broader systems that contribute to disproportionate harm in vulnerable communities. An example could include supporting community access to safer products.
  • Work with other program teams to identify project strategies and evaluate outcomes.
 
Support team operations and reporting
  • Help develop and implement team procedures and work plans.
  • Help prepare regular reports to management on assigned program objectives, accomplishments, and budgets. Monitor and report on indicators that measure activities, efficiencies, performance, and accomplishments.
  • Use diplomacy to solve problems and navigate conflict.
  • Safely use and maintain assigned team equipment. Assist with logistics for distributing materials to customers.
  • Stay current in applicable skills and knowledge necessary to achieve program objectives. 
* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current services are modified to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus, following all Public Health guidelines. For example, workshops may be presented virtually, not in-person.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Bachelor's degree OR any equivalent education/experience in natural, physical/environmental sciences or a related field.
  • Eligibility to take the REHS/RS exam (see Licensing/Certification Requirements).
  • Knowledge of equity and social justice principles and practices and an understanding of the effects of systems-based inequities on marginalized communities and populations.
  • Ability to effectively reach diverse communities where English may not be the primary language.
  • Comfortable working with women and children in the home.
  • Ability to listen and communicate with appropriate sensitivity to people whose life experiences may include trauma and violence.
  • Strong writing and editing skills. Ability to communicate technical material to non-technical audiences.
  • Knowledge of health and environmental protection programs, laws, regulations, and policies. 
  • Knowledge of environmental sciences and public health principles.
  • Knowledge of hazardous materials and their risks to health and the environment. 
  • Strong working knowledge of software and database products including MS Office and MS SharePoint.  
Desired Qualifications 
  • Experience conducting field investigations related to public health and/or the environment.
  • Ability to collect, analyze, interpret information, and provide recommendations. 
  • Knowledge of project planning and evaluation. 
  • Fluent in one or more non-English languages. 
  • Industrial hygiene background.

Licensing/Certification Requirements: 
  • An HEI Level II hire requires, at the time of hire, possession of a valid certificate as Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) from the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) or as a Registered Sanitarian (RS) from the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians (WSBRS). Both NEHA and WSBRS provide applications for REHS/RS credentialing by examination or via reciprocity.  
     REHS/RS credentialing information is available from NEHA at:  
    www.neha.org/professional-development/credentials/rehsrs-credential 
     REHS/RS credentialing information is available from WSBRS at:  www.wsbrs.org  
  • An HEI Level I hire requires obtaining a valid REHS certificate from NEHA or an RS from WSBRS within one year of the hire date as a condition of continuing employment. 
  • Valid Washington State Driver License. 
  • All required licenses and certifications must be maintained in active status without suspension or revocation throughout employment.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as 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 solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; 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.

(New) Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement 
 
As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th.   People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.  Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs.  Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.  

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 or assessment process, or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.


Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates. Currently, we are recruiting for 1 full-time Career Service positions. In addition, applicants from this recruitment may be used to create a list of qualified candidates for future career service, term-limited temporary that may occur in the next 6 months in this program.  


Application Process: 
The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:

  • An electronic application through www.kingcounty.gov/jobs or www.governmentjobs.com (use the "Apply" link) including work history and position duties.
  • Responses to supplemental questions.
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the application. Cover letters and/or resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed application. Applications and/or Supplemental Questionnaires that state "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
  • The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/jobs/hiring.
  • Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and the development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.
  • Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities, work location, and working hours.

Necessary Special Requirements:
  • The selected candidate will be required to submit to a thorough background investigation. Records are not automatically disqualifying.
  • Candidates selected are required to pass a pre-employment physical exam.   
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.
  • Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing required training on time.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirement:
  • This position requires the ability to perform work duties both indoors in an office environment and in the field in a variety of physical and weather conditions that may include walking uneven terrain, working around heavy machinery, strong odors, dust, animals, and various types of wastes. 
  • Exposure to individuals from the public who are upset, angry, agitated, and sometimes hostile, requiring the use of conflict management and de-escalation skills.
  • This position may require strength enough to lift, push, or pull field equipment weighing between 20-40 pounds.
  • Performance of job duties requires driving on a regular basis and a valid Washington State Driver's license.
  • This position may require the incumbent to occasionally access or travel by ferry or boat.

Work Schedule:  This position typically works 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week anytime between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The schedule requires flexibility for weekend and evening work. This position is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and is overtime eligible. The normal workweek is 40 hours, Monday – Friday. Evening and weekend work may be required.

 
Work Location: The primary King County is based in the Chinook Building with field work required as needed.
The Environmental Health Division reserves the right to place staff at worksite locations or transfer staff to new worksite locations that best support the efficient delivery of services.

The majority of the work associated with this position will be performed in the field.  Employees will have access to shared workspaces at Public Health worksites throughout the County and may also utilize home deployment.   There will be situations where the employee is required to report to a County worksite.  Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.
 
Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.  Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
 
 To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely.  The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team.


Salary Information (depending on qualifications):
 $32.16 - $40.77 Hourly: Health and Environmental Investigator I
 $37.97 - $48.13 Hourly: Health and Environmental Investigator II 


Union Affiliation:
This position is represented by Protect Local 17 Union.


Contact:
If you have questions about the position, please contact Linda Van Hooser at linda.vanhooser@kingcounty.gov or (206) 263-8539. If you have questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact Nic Horea, Senior Human Resource Analyst at nicolae.horea@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-8736.

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.

01
Can you provide proof that you possess a current, Valid, WA State Driver License or the ability to obtain one prior to starting work if selected for this position?
  • Yes
  • No
02
Are you:
  • Currently certified as a Registered Sanitarian (RS) by the Washington State Board of Registered Sanitarians, OR
  • Currently certified as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS) by the National Environmental Health Association, OR
  • None of the above
03
If you answered "none of the above" for question # 1, are you able to obtain one of the certifications listed above within twelve (12) months of hire?
  • Yes
  • No
  • N/A
04
Please describe your experience working to promote public health and/or environmental protection. If you don't have this experience, please type N/A,
05
Please provide an example(s) of your experience working with multicultural and multilingual communities. If you don't have this experience, please type N/A.
06
Please share an example of your experience gathering information, analyzing the information, and making recommendations based on what you found. If you don't have this experience, please type n/a.
07
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.
08
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