Mile-high motors

Smiling mechanic looks up from hood of vehicle

Delivering the mail involves open communication and a lot of moving parts.

That’s par for the course at the Spruce Vehicle Maintenance Facility (VMF) in Denver. From staff cars to tractor trailers, the facility oversees the repairs and maintenance of more than 2,000 postal vehicles.

For VMF Manager Mike Valdez, the mechanics are the backbone of the department.

“They are the true heroes,” he said. “They are the ones keeping this fleet going.”

Valdez began his postal career in 2006 as a mechanic and has managed the Spruce VMF since February, leading a team of 33 employees and overseeing the vehicle maintenance operation.

According to Valdez, the most important thing he can do as a manager is to listen and keep his employees informed.

“The more they know, the better they can perform,” he said. “And the more I listen, the better manager I become.”

Valdez doesn’t just go through the motions. He engages his employees by listening and taking their comments into consideration. Valdez also ensures he has time to speak to workers on all shifts: morning, afternoon and night.

“I come in early in the morning to listen to tour 1 and I stay late to make time for tour 3,” he said.

Lead Automotive Technician Rob Salazar appreciates Valdez’s management style. Salazar has been on the job for more than 20 years and said he understands how important communication and teamwork are to keeping such a large fleet of vehicles in shape.

“For letter carriers, this is their office on wheels,” he said. “We encourage each other and work hard to keep the vehicles running.”

At the Spruce VMF, that attitude is possible only through trust.

“Trust, integrity and sincerity are so important,” Valdez said. “Once you lose those things, it’s a tough battle.”

According to Valdez, the best way to facilitate that level of confidence is showing appreciation for employees: “A simple ‘thank you’ is so important to the guys here.”

Easier than ever

Laptop screen displays USPS human resources site

The Postal Service is reminding you about a new method to provide the organization with your current contact information.

USPS requires you to keep your mailing address and other information up to date so you can receive communications about payroll, health benefits, tax changes and other important topics.

You can use the new Life Changes LiteBlue page to update your information with just a few clicks. Previously, the process for making updates on LiteBlue required multiple steps and wasn’t as user friendly as the new page.

In addition to your address, you can use the page to update your emergency contacts and beneficiary information.

If you have questions, call the Human Resources Shared Service Center weekdays from 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Eastern time at 877-477-3273 (select option 5).

Hop hop hooray

The recent dedication ceremony for the Frogs stamps is highlighted in a new Postal Service video.

The 1-minute, 9-second video features remarks from Victoria Runroe, conservation education supervisor at the MK Nature Center in Boise, ID, where the event was held.

“We feel that nothing could be more appropriate for celebrating frogs — these creatures that are so unassuming yet so charming, and have touched so many lives — than to do so at a place dedicated to connecting people with the outdoors,” Runroe says in the video.

The video also shows USPS Facilities Vice President Tom Samra, who led the ceremony, and John Cossell, biology department chair at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID.

The pane of 20 stamps features four frog species that are common in North America.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Chart showing postal scanning data next to image of letter carrier scanning mail on customer's doorstep

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.83 percent during the week ending Aug. 16, up from one week earlier.

Western (98.14 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.21 percent) topped the districts.

Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, and it helps USPS improve efficiency and network management.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Employees must request access to Informed Visibility through eAccess.

Business Connect Month. Postmasters use the Business Connect program to serve business customers in their communities, a new entry on Postal Posts, the USPS blog, explains.

The post, which is geared toward small-business owners, was written by Mary Anderson, small-business sales director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

August is Business Connect Month, a campaign to promote the program and the employees and businesses who participate.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.