Project/Program Manager III – Lead Community Relations/Public Involvement Planner

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Project Management
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Posted on June 5, 2021

The Solid Waste Division’s Strategy, Communication and Performance section is currently seeking an experienced community relations/public involvement planner to lead communications, community relations and public engagement for its capital projects, programs and facilities. 
Who May Apply:  This position is open to all qualified candidates.
Telecommuting Requirement 
The work associated with this position will be performed predominantly by telecommuting, with occasional onsite work and meetings, as influenced by business needs. Employees will also have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities. 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. 
Work Location: Primarily teleworking and the King Street Center 201 S. Jackson St., Seattle WA 98104
Work Schedule: This position is scheduled to work 40-hours per week, Monday -Friday.
Forms and Materials required: Applicants must submit a (1) King County Application, (2) resume, (3) letter of interest, and (4) at least (2) two recent, relevant writing samples (excerpts from longer documents are acceptable), up to 6 pages total. The letter of interest should describe how your education and experience meet the qualifications and have prepared you to perform the essential functions of the job.  
About Solid Waste Division
A division within King County's Department of Natural Resources & Parks, the award winning and innovative Solid Waste Division (SWD) has been recognized for operational excellence. The division's line of business is comprised of waste prevention, resource recovery, and waste disposal. This robust and dynamic enterprise funded division has an annual budget exceeding $100 million. More than 400 employees create value for customers across ten active locations (eight recycling and transfer facilities). Resources are harvested on-site and refuse is transported by SWD to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley, Washington. Through a public/private partnership, landfill gas is captured and converted to clean natural gas. In 2019, SWD and the partnership proudly produced enough pipeline quality fuel to heat 19,600 homes in King County.

King County’s Solid Waste Division brings the best people together to deliver value to our customers and stakeholders and continuously improve waste prevention, resource recovery, and waste disposal.

Job Duties

Support the work team’s efforts in the following areas:

  • Act as the Solid Waste Division’s lead community relations/public engagement & outreach specialist; cultivate understanding and acceptance of the division’s projects, programs, and services. Act as a point of contact for community questions or issues. 
  • Analyze community relations issues, threats and opportunities that may affect the success of a SWD project or initiative. Assignments may include capital projects or operational issues with significant impacts to community members or customers.
  • Advise and support Solid Waste Division’s capital project management and operations teams in the design and implementation public involvement plans that inform and engage communities, using guidance of the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation and King County’s Community Engagement Guide.
  • Provide planning, assessment and advocacy for equity and social justice on SWD projects; identify equity opportunities for projects during design.
  • Effectively communicate, verbally and in writing, the details of solid waste management, operations, and construction project plans. Audiences typically include elected/appointed officials, agencies, environmental and business representatives, neighbors of construction sites or solid waste facilities, and the general public.
  • Design, implement and facilitate successful outreach activities including public events.
  • Develop and implement public involvement plans for projects and programs to provide responsive customer service and equitable outreach for affected community members during all phases of a project. Ensure appropriate documentation of all public communications and outreach activities for assigned projects.
  • Direct the work of consultants and staff: delegate assignments appropriately; provide quality control and timely delivery of work products; and determine the best use of consultant and county staff resources. Participate in consultant procurement processes.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

Our Ideal Candidate Will Have: 

  • Demonstrated experience in public outreach planning and implementation, public communications, public relations or a closely related field, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Familiarity with Project Management Institute (PMI) project management techniques and an understanding of the planning, design and construction phases on major capital projects.
  • Understanding of the environmental review processes under the State Environmental Policy Act.
  • Excellent verbal and writing skills, including the ability to simplify technical information to meet audience needs and interest levels; familiarity with Associated Press style and Plain Language guidelines.
  • Experience working with graphic designers, printers, mail services and other communication professionals to produce informational materials and media on time and on budget.
  • Experience planning and coordinating logistics for large and small events.
  • Ability to plan and implement community relations for multiple projects with significant community impacts, conduct a number of tasks and projects concurrently, and to meet competing deadlines.
  • Ability to:
    • Build support among diverse audiences for recommendations and/or project decisions
    • Identify and solve problems for project teams and leads
    • Work effectively and equitably with racially and culturally diverse individuals and communities, as well as a racially and occupationally diverse workforce.
    • Provide excellent customer service to internal and external customers.
    • Plan and implement effective public outreach campaigns, including goals, objectives, tactics and schedule
    • Manage work adaptively to accommodate changing circumstances, different perspectives and competing priorities
    • Resolve disagreements or interpersonal issues promptly, respectfully and discreetly
 Our Most Competitive Candidate Will Have:
  • Experience managing community relations/public engagement during the siting, design and construction of an essential public facility.
  • Knowledge of government operations, planning techniques and principles.
  • Familiarity with government permitting processes, public utility issues, and related communication needs.
  • Experience working with community-based organizations and the ability to cultivate partnerships to further enhance outreach and engagement plans. 
  • Experience or interest in the environmental field, especially solid waste management.
 Necessary Special Requirements:
  • Ability to use software that supports the delivery of a work product, including Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel, various social media platforms and databases
  • A valid Washington State Driver's License or alternate ability to get to meetings and field sites not served by transit at varying times of the day 
  • Night and weekend availability as necessary, including communication support for infrastructure emergencies
  • This position requires visiting job sites, community meetings. Must be able to work in an office environment, with occasional work in a field environment, which may include walking on uneven slopes, surfaces, grades and terrain in inclement weather, and in the presence of adverse conditions such as noise, dust, and traffic. Must be able to lift 10 lbs.

Supplemental Information

Application and Selection Process: Application materials will be screened for clarity, completeness including online application, cover letter and resume, and responsiveness to the list of qualifications, skills, and abilities. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more panel interviews. Applications without the following required materials may not be considered for this position.

  • King County application
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter detailing your background and what you can bring to this position
  • (2) Two recent, relevant writing samples
  • Responses to supplemental questions
Union Membership: This position is represented by Teamsters Local 117 – Professional and Technical
Contact Information: Please direct questions about this recruitment to Roxanne Malatesta, Human Resource Analyst at

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.

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.

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.

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