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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County launches new Conservation Corps to clean up urban unincorporated areas

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a six-month pilot with the Millionair Club Charity to hire crews to pick up garbage and clean-up in White Center, Skyway, Fairwood, and East Federal Way.

Story

King County is partnering with the Millionair Club Charity to offer dignified employment opportunities to people experiencing homelessness and poverty, as well as to help get problem garbage picked up in several of its unincorporated communities.

The King County Conservation Corps is a partnership between King County’s Solid Waste Division, Department of Local Services, and Millionair Club Charity. Under the agreement, five-person crews will provide services on weekdays in the urban unincorporated areas.

In its first year of operation, the Department of Local Services actively engaged with residents and business across unincorporated King County. The department identified graffiti clean-up and improving public spaces in neighborhood commercial and business areas as important for economic development. Residents in the unincorporated areas also said they support providing job opportunities for people experiencing housing insecurity.  

Millionair Club Charity is a temporary staffing agency that connects people experiencing homelessness and poverty in the greater Seattle area with jobs and support services. It currently has similar contracts with the Metropolitan Improvement District and the Ballard Alliance.

“We need to provide opportunities for people to build better lives, and tackle the litter and graffiti problem that continues to plague communities across the region. I created the King County Conservation Corps to provide solutions to both,” said Executive Constantine. “At the end of the day, we want people who have been struggling to have steady employment and the satisfaction of a job well done, and to improve neighborhood quality of life for everyone. This is a pilot, and I hope that it will provide lessons that can be deployed throughout unincorporated King County, and beyond.”

Under the pilot program, Local Services will serve as the lead for operations and management of the project, with Solid Waste Division serving as the primary resourcing agency, providing $125,000 for six months. Contract workers will earn between $18-$20/hour.


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Quotes

We need to provide opportunities for people to build better lives, and tackle the litter and graffiti problem that continues to plague communities across the region. I created the King County Conservation Corps to provide solutions to both. At the end of the day, we want people who have been struggling to have steady employment and the satisfaction of a job well done, and to improve neighborhood quality of life for everyone. This is a pilot, and I hope that it will provide lessons that can be deployed throughout unincorporated King County, and beyond.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Innovative solutions are needed to address the needs of urban unincorporated areas like White Center, who have thriving neighborhoods, community organizations and businesses but lack the support of a city government that other urban centers have. And innovative solutions are necessary to provide opportunity for folks working their way towards housing stability. This pilot project is a promising response to both critical community needs, I’m excited to see this move forward.

Joe McDermott, King County Councilmember

Even before King County Local Services began operations, we heard from the community about how we need to do whatever we can to help local businesses. Part of that includes creating and maintaining clean, attractive commercial areas – and Conservation Corps could be a model for how we do just that. In partnering with Millionair Club, we’re taking a different approach to address a community need, especially in areas such as White Center, Skyway and Fairwood. This pilot program illustrates the kind of collaboration our department can pursue to provide services to unincorporated King County.

John Taylor, Director, Department of Local Services

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks invests not only in environmental stewardship and quality of life infrastructure. We are also investing in people. Our funding is putting people to work – ensuring the respect and dignity of employment and the satisfaction of earning a paycheck.

Lorraine Patterson, Chief Administrative Officer, Department of Natural Resources and Parks

Millionair Club Charity is excited to partner with King County and the White Center community to provide street cleaning and beautification workers to revitalize and enhance public spaces. Thanks to this partnership with King County, Millionair Club Charity workers have long-term employment opportunities that will provide hope and stability in their lives while simultaneously improving the local community.

Jim Miller, Executive Director, Millionair Club Charity

For more information, contact:

Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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