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Local colleges provide a wealth of potential volunteers, particularly when they offer academic programs related to your field, for example, criminal justice, environmental studies, nursing, management information systems, computer science and others. Western Washington University students can help with projects through internships, service-learning courses and volunteering; Western’s Center for Service Learning can be the place to start your search for Western students. We have also had success working through the chair of an academic department. Bellingham Technical College also provides a potential pool of volunteers and interns through their Career Services office, as does Whatcom Community College. Many County offices regularly use local college talent to stretch limited resources while also providing valuable learning experiences for the students.
Referrals may also come from the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. WVC’s phone number is (360) 734-3055.
From time-to-time the Washington State Employment Security Department offers expert internship opportunities and/or youth employment programs. Please contact the Bellingham WorkSource office directly at (360) 676-1521 for current information. Volunteer Center
For an online WATCH check:
1. Volunteer completes the limited access background check form 2. Department designee logs on to WATCH and performs check3. Department reviews results, prints, and retains printed record according to retention schedule guidelines (6 years from termination of service).
Here is a sample to use as a start: Appointment Letter
If computer use is critical to your volunteers’ assignments, review the County’s Using Computer Systems policy with them and have them sign the Computer Systems Acknowledgement Form. At the end of volunteer service, be sure to remove access to the County’s computer systems (see Removing Employees from the Network, on InsideWhatcom). New Employee Orientation Checklist
• Board Governance 101 and 102• Volunteer Coordinators’ Roundtable• Disaster Relief Training through the Red Cross• Darkness to Light-Stewards of Children• Volunteer Leader Training• Mental Health Crisis Training
Volunteer Center upcoming trainings are listed on their website. Volunteer Center
See the Washington State Archives’ Local Government Common Records Retention Schedule (CORE) for more information. CORE
At Human Resources, our focus is on employment. However, similar principles apply when engaging volunteers. For further questions, contact your Human Resources Representative, (360) 778-5300.