One word to describe you:Optimistic
Foster mother:Marylhurst University
Fun fact about yourself:I have two boys 14 years apart. Gavin, who is 18, and Lynkin, who is four.
Favorite route you’ve ever ridden or frequent (and why):My favorite route is C-TRAN #30 on Burton Road. This route gave me a taste of independence when I was growing up because I walked up the street from 103rd and Burton and took my bus to the mall.
Jenapher L. Dues joined C-TRAN as a Staffing Generalist and was later promoted to Recruitment and Compensation Specialist. She is currently Director of Human Resources and has been integral to the organization’s employee selection and retention since 2014. Since her arrival, Dues’ colleagues say few reflect the words of the CEO of C- TRAN, Shawn Donaghy, more solidly than her: “C-TRAN’s world-class employees are the reason for our success.
Dues is known within C-TRAN, as well as among partners and stakeholders, for her passion and compassion: passion for transit and what it means to the community, and compassion for applicants and employees. Unsurprisingly, Dues has spent the majority of 2020 and 2021 relentlessly navigating myriad COVID-19 issues for the entire agency. She handled the dramatically increased number of unemployment claims, which were complicated by the $650 million spike in fraud cases Washington state saw at the height of the pandemic. She helped the team manage the multitude of absences related to COVID-19 exposures or illness. But she never lost her desire to help, regularly checking in on colleagues who were sick or awaiting test results, regularly working evenings and weekends to support C-TRAN personnel. She also led the directive to vaccinate more than 250 C-TRAN employees — well over half the workforce — as soon as the state allows it.
Dues is recognized for keeping C-TRAN’s service levels intact through its innovative and tireless efforts. She met with management at all levels to hear their thoughts and concerns about recruiting and retaining employees, especially operators. After extensive research and process reassessments, she designed a multimedia program that featured several C-TRAN employees across the organization, showcasing the positive culture by allowing employees to spontaneously express themselves in authentic and impactful way. The results were almost immediate. Requests started to increase soon after the ads started running locally. Training program attrition dropped from around 30% to less than 5%, resulting in significant savings in hiring and training costs.
His diligence and considerable effort have helped make C-TRAN an example for other employers in the region and in the industry. In Clark County, Washington, minorities make up 22.5% of the total population, while women make up 50.6%. Today, two-thirds of C-TRAN’s management team are women; the minority workforce has increased to 30%; and the overall female labor force remains stable.
Outside of C-TRAN, Dues is active with the Washington State Transit Association. She regularly contributes to an online job description repository used by transit agencies across the state and regularly shares general information and best practices. She also participates in responding to requests for information and data analysis from the American Bus Benchmarking Group.
Colleagues say Dues provides “exemplary support and service to all divisions of the agency” and that his “constant compassion for all segments of the workforce, tireless work ethic and grace under pressure make her an incomparable colleague”.
What do you like most about your job?
I love working with people who believe in the mission of what transit does for the community. I was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, and it is an honor to serve the community in which I grew up. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to offer employment to people in the community.
What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
I take great pride in being able to graduate while working part-time, full-time, and having a family.
Best tips/tricks/best practices to share in your area of expertise?
Be fair and be kind. Always be open to receiving feedback.