King County councilmember proposes program to aid transition of Afghan interpreters who served the U.S. overseas

Program would provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors.

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)

C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord airstrip (courtesy of United States Military)

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn on Thursday introduced legislation that would establish a fellowship program to provide job training and learning opportunities for Afghan interpreters and advisors who served the United States during the War in Afghanistan and are now living in King County.

“As we welcome our Afghan allies into our community, King County can be a leader in providing opportunity to people who risked so much on behalf of our country, served alongside our soldiers, and are now making their home in a foreign land,” Dunn said. “This fellowship would offer marketable job skills and career training to our Afghan friends, helping them establish a new livelihood as they start their new life here in King County.”

If passed by the Council, the pilot program will open two fellowship positions with the King County government for an Afghan interpreter or translator who served with United States military personnel between October 7, 2001 and December 31, 2023 for at least one year. Each fellow will have the opportunity to serve a paid six-month to one-year term that not only provides new job experience at a variety of levels within the County’s government, but also provides optional learning immersion experiences. The pilot program would run until December 31, 2024.

Based on recent reports, King County is slated to initially receive 1,280 Afghan refugees in the coming weeks—a significant majority of the 1,600 being initially resettled in Washington state. The three cities that will be receiving refugees in King County are: Kent (600 refugees), Greater Seattle (575 refugees), and Auburn (105 refugees).

This legislation was closely modeled after the Vets 4 Hire program in King County, which was formed in 2015 through the County’s Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy. Since the program’s inception, it has allowed 89 veterans to work in 12 different departments throughout the County while providing access to mentors, career coaching, continued learning opportunities, and fellow veteran support.

This program continues to be an integral step for the veterans who participate in it to transition from military service back to civilian life, as outlined in the 2018 VSHSL report.

The proposal will be referred to the committee in the coming weeks.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Derby Days. Courtesy of Experience Redmond.
Mark your calendars for Redmond’s annual Derby Days celebration

Attendees should expect two days of action-packed fun from July 8-9.

File photo.
Former Bellevue teacher sentenced in federal court over child pornography

Department of Justice says the man had 1,764 images of child sexual abuse in his possession.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo.
Bellevue man charged in 2019 assault that left a man dead on a Redmond roadway

After a two-year investigation, Bradley Hibbard was arrested for murder in the second degree.

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

Vanesha Hari. Courtesy of Workforce Career Readiness.
Redmond High School student receives national recognition for excellence

From a young age, Vanesha Hari wanted to leave the world in a better place than she found it.

Most Read