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.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Crews removed the old culvert Pussyfoot Creek went through under SR 164 east of Auburn, then built a new natural creek bed. Removing the culvert opens up about 9.3 miles of habitat for coho salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout. Photo courtesy DOT
SR 164 open near Amphitheater; crews still finishing up work in the area

The highway between Auburn and Enumclaw has reopened, but expect traffic for now

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

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

This photo of Mount Rainier, snapped Aug. 11 from Enumclaw, shows the mountain around its driest time of the year.
Elk heads and ice caves: What’s changing on Mount Rainier?

More glacial melting seems likely for Mount Rainier, but the story is more complicated than that.

Photos by Ray Miller-Still
Enumclaw school district students, athletes, and homecoming royalty paraded down Cole Street last Friday before the big game later that night and, of course, the Homecoming Dance.
Photo Gallery: A Very Hornet Homecoming

Enumclaw paraded down Cole Street last Friday for their homecoming celebration.

Vaccinations taking place. File photo
Inslee: No ‘massive disruptions’ as worker vax rates hit 90%

A surge in vaccinations has eased concern about service slowdowns ahead of a Monday deadline.

King County Council 9 candidates Kim-Khanh Van (left) and incumbent Reagan Dunn speak during the Courier-Herald’s candidate forum. Photo by Alex Bruell
King County council candidates face off during Enumclaw forum

Reagan Dunn and Kim-Khahn Van sparred on vaccines, policing and more.

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Union members picket in front of new Facebook campus in Redmond on Sept. 16 (photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Northwest Carpenters Union members vote to accept contract with AGC

The agreement comes after weeks of striking.

Most Read