Contact Information

  • Governor's Office, 360-902-4111

  • Alt Contact:  Department of Labor and Industries, Kim Contris: 360-725-5417

Governor Gregoire Announces Appointment of Director of Labor and Industries

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2007

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today announced that she has appointed Judy Schurke director of the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Schurke is currently the acting L&I director. The appointment is effective immediately.

“Judy Schurke has led the Department of Labor and Industries through these last few months of transition and, for years, has demonstrated her commitment to the citizens of Washington,” said Governor Gregoire. “I am pleased to make her a permanent member of my Executive Cabinet.”

Governor Gregoire appointed Schurke the acting director last October. Prior to her appointment, she was a deputy director of L&I.

“I want to thank the Governor for her expression of confidence. I look forward to working with labor and business and all the other people who are impacted by L&I’s actions and services,” said Schurke. “Making sure workers are safe and that those who are injured receive the best possible medical treatment is vital to the citizens of Washington. We have a dedicated staff at L&I who are committed to their work and I appreciate the opportunity to lead them.”

“We look forward to working with Judy to ensure that the best interests of Washington working families are served. As acting director, she has kept her door open to us and listened to the concerns of organized labor, and we anticipate that will continue with her appointment as Director,” said Rick Bender, president of the Washington State Labor Council.

“Judy brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her experiences at Boeing and the Industrial Insurance Appeals Board, and is a problem-solver who brings all sides to the table in order to find a fair solution,” said Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business. “She has a strong grasp of the issues facing workers, their families and employers, and is an excellent choice for director.”

Schurke had served as deputy director for operations since 2003. Prior to that, she served for seven years as employer member of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. She also was Washington Corporate Industrial Insurance Manager for Boeing and, in previous service at L&I, was head of the Self-Insurance Program and held a number of other positions with the agency.

The Department of Labor and Industries has 2,600 staff in 20 offices throughout the state. The agency provides workers’ compensation insurance for 2.4 million workers and 164,000 employers and regulates larger employers who are self-insured. L&I also regulates workplace safety, provides electrical permits and inspections in most of the state, registers contractors, licenses electricians, inspects elevators and boilers, provides compensation for crime victims and handles a number of other duties.