News Release For Immediate release April 6, 2016 Contact: Kent Patton 425-388-3883 425-3301858 Snohomish County Executive Somers Announces New Initiative Service, Technology, Excellence Program (STEP) Will Improve Service and Save Money EVERETT, Snohomish County—Today, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced a new initiative, the Service, Technology, and Excellence Program (STEP). STEP will have four goals: 1) Improve customer service; 2) Implement continuous improvement for processes and systems; 3) Provide technology solutions; and 4) Expect system-wide excellence. “The county provides important services for our residents and touches on some of our most sensitive community issues,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “As such, people look to us for superior service and consistent excellence. Our new STEP initiative will give us a tool for transforming county government and improving how we deliver services for our residents.” The county has already started a pilot program in the Planning and Development Services (PDS) Department to find efficiencies in the permitting process, and the program has shown significant promise. STEP will allow Snohomish County to re-think how it does business, make customers and employees central to decision-making, and find mechanisms for continually improving its work. “I will partner with my colleagues to improve customer service and work to continually improve how we do business. I also want to ensure every employee’s job is respected and their contributions and ideas are heard as we explore ways to improve our services,” said Tom Rowe, the STEP initiative lead. The STEP initiative will be phased in over the course of the next few years. It has started in PDS but will be expanded to include all departments. Snohomish County is working with the Washington State Auditor’s Office Local Government Performance Center.