Fine print

The Postal Service’s National Printing Center (NPC) prints many items that employees across the nation use every day, including tray labels, forms and training books.

But one of the NPC’s most important jobs is printing the postcards and fliers that USPS workers receive during the open season benefits enrollment period.

“The postcards and fliers play an important role in educating employees about their available options during open season. We’re proud to play a role in getting that information out to the postal workforce,” said Emerson Daniels, the center’s manager.

The NPC opened in 1975 as the Label Printing Center to print tray and sack labels. The facility, located in Topeka, KS, has taken on many other products over the years — including PS Form 3849, which carriers leave for customers when they are unable to complete a delivery, as well as employee postcards.

In 2013, the facility changed its name to the National Printing Center to better reflect its mission.

“When I started nearly 10 years ago, we only printed labels and forms. It amazes me all the different items we print now,” said Mary Rose Eakes, a computerized label printing operator.

Open season — the once-a-year opportunity for Postal Service employees to make changes to their health coverage or choose a new plan — is one of the NPC’s busiest times of the year.

This year, the facility will print more than 1.3 million open season postcards that USPS is mailing to employees’ homes to educate them about their health, vision and dental coverage options.

Adam Schellhorn-Thompson, an acting print operations supervisor at the NPC, said he understands the importance of open season.

“I have a new baby daughter on the way,” Schellhorn-Thompson said. “It’s important that she gets the best medical care possible. I want to see what my health care options are. I realize my monthly savings are going to be even more important when she arrives. Open season allows me to compare my options to best suit my changing family.”

The National Printing Center Blue page has more information about the facility.

USPS managers and supervisors who have custom printing requests can also go to the Digital Store Front website or send an email to customprinting@usps.gov.

Said Daniels: “NPC’s success is due to our employee’s commitment to customers. We always stand ready to help our clients with their printing needs.”

Flex time

The importance of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) is explained in a newly updated video from the Postal Service.

FSAs, one of several options available to employees during the open season benefits enrollment period, can help employees reduce their taxable income and save on yearly health or dependent care costs.

The four-minute video, 2019 Flexible Spending Accounts,” explains the different types of FSAs and offers tips on which one might fit an employee’s current needs.

Employees can learn more about FSAs on the Benefits LiteBlue page.

Open season, the annual period when employees can make changes to their benefits, ends Dec. 9.