“When you come to work, you want to be in a happy environment. This is what we help create.”

Calvin on the mower

Seasonal workers help us accomplish a lot of work in a short period of time during the good weather of spring and summer. This is super helpful when you have treatment plants like South Plant with about 100 acres of landscaping and buildings!

Happy place = happy at work

If you’re like most working people, you spend enough time at your job that it’s like a second home. And most people would agree it’s nicer when your workplace is tidy – even beautiful.

A pleasant work environment isn’t just a bonus or a “nice to have.” Studies show that a clean, nicely-maintained workplace is good for business. It’s safer and makes employees happy, healthy and more productive. It leaves a good first impression on customers – and is part of being a good neighbor.

Help when we need it most

Every spring we hire a group of short-term employees that help us keep our treatment plants and other facilities looking good – and feeling good. Given the title of “seasonal workers” – they are vital staff who help us accomplish a lot of work in a short period of time – work that is best done in the good weather of the spring and summer seasons.

“Our job description varies with the day,” explains South Treatment Plant seasonal worker, Calvin Dunbar. “One minute we can be cutting grass and the next moment using a chain saw to limb trees. I love the job because we gain a lot of experience with different equipment, tools and projects.”

Team member Giovanni Rivera agrees. “It changes every day – whether it’s irrigation systems, digging, pruning, mowing, edging – or sometimes helping the utility workers – we do a lot around here.”

Seasonal worker do all kinds of activities that help keep our treatment plants well-maintained. On any given day, they may use backhoes, tractors, Gator carts, dump trucks, mowers or forklifts. They can also gain resume-boosting trainings like flagger certification, dust-fit mask training, a forklift certification, and First Aid / CPR training.

Building experience and future careers

As seasonal worker John Franklin points out “working for the summer season – it gives you a taste of what it’s like working for King County.”

In fact, the team’s supervisor, Chris Tinnin notes that “there’s been a number of long-time employees who started out as seasonal helpers. Many people – instrument techs, operators, supervisors – started their careers in this job.”

Helping morale – and public perception of what a sewage treatment plant is like

The team talked about how their co-workers see and appreciate their work – giving them compliments like “hey – that looks great.” Chris says “It’s really important because at the end of the summer – all of a sudden the [treatment] plant’s looking beautiful. They give us a big boost.”

And the seasonal workers themselves appreciate being in the beautiful environment they help create. Team member Duane Walker, who worked in a corporate setting for many years, points out it’s just “nice to be outside.”

And if that weren’t enough, the “beautification” of our treatment plants helps in yet another way – educating the public about what we do. “Before community members come to one of our treatment plants for an education tour, they usually think about how gross it is going to be,” explains Susan Tallarico, Education and Engagement Supervisor. “And although there are some smelly realities when it comes to cleaning wastewater, most of the public is pleasantly surprised with how clean and attractive the buildings, grounds and trails are. Our seasonal workers help make our treatment plants a place where people want to come back and learn more about how we protect the environment.”

Interested in a job as a seasonal worker? We post positions in about April or May each year. Watch for announcements or sign up for alerts at the King County Job site: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/kingcounty