One thing that’s different about King County’s new Department of Local Services is the Service Partnership Agreements it’s making with other King County agencies. The agreements will allow Local Services to serve as a “one-stop shop,” helping residents and businesses in unincorporated areas connect with county services while also gathering information about those services.
On March 25, Jesse Kent joined the department as its Service Partnership Agreement Manager. He’ll oversee this part of the new department’s approach, managing working relationships with other King County departments and looking at the data they collect to support continuous improvement.
Jesse comes to the county after serving in the U.S. Army intelligence Corps in Arizona, South Korea, and Colorado and serving in the National Guard while studying Physics at the University of North Texas. As a graduate student in Southern Methodist University’s Particle Physics program in Dallas, he analyzed data collected at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) Large Hadron Collider in pursuit of the fundamental structure of nuclei.
Asked how this background brought him to King County, Jesse said, “I started to realize that maybe physics wasn’t the most important thing in my life.” Instead, he decided to get back into public service. A friend who was working here praised the county, both as a workplace and a place that was doing good work. “There’s sort of an energy and enthusiasm,” Jesse said. “The county believes in itself as an organization.” In other places he’s lived, he hasn’t seen the same sort of buy-in at public agencies.
“King County really seems to invest in people,” he added. “It’s nice to know the organization is buying into you as well as you buying into the organization.” And the county’s Equity and Social Justice work, he said, “really resonated with me.”
If you run into Jesse, please take the opportunity to welcome him to the area and to King County!