Pandemic protection

The Postal Service will distribute additional reusable face coverings to all employees as part of the organization’s ongoing effort to help its workers stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 Response Command and Supply Management are distributing the new coverings, starting this week. The distribution will continue through November.

The new coverings are blue and embossed with the Postal Service logo. Each employee will receive one face covering.

Here’s how the coverings will be distributed:

• Each district supply coordinator will receive and distribute face coverings for employees in their districts, including employees at mail processing facilities.

• Employees at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC; headquarters field units; and area offices will be mailed face coverings to their home addresses.

• Postal Inspection Service employees in field locations will receive their face coverings from division personnel, while Inspection Service employees at USPS headquarters will receive their coverings from agency management.

• Face coverings will be sent to the Office of Inspector General headquarters to distribute to employees there.

• Extra face coverings will be sent to district offices for new employees hired during peak season.

Additional requests for disposable or reusable face coverings must follow the established process of ordering through each district’s supply coordinator.

During the summer, the Postal Service issued gray cloth face coverings to all employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public settings, especially where other social distancing measures, such as standing 6 feet apart, are difficult to maintain.

During the coronavirus pandemic, USPS requires all employees to wear face coverings when there is a state or local face covering order or directive in place or when an employee — including those who do not deal directly with the public — cannot achieve or maintain social distancing in the workplace.

The Postal Service also encourages employees to follow the CDC’s guidance, along with its recommendations on proper handwashing and good personal hygiene.

A cup of Joe

A letter carrier’s acceptance of a cup of coffee from a business along his route has led to an almost $190,000 boost in revenue for the Postal Service.

Joe Freitas of San Leandro, CA, regularly visits Proyecto Diaz Coffee while delivering the mail. The company’s owner, Fernando Diaz, often offers Freitas a cup of coffee.

During one such visit, the carrier and Diaz struck up a conversation, and Freitas learned the business was using a competitor to ship its wholesale orders.

Freitas took the opportunity to talk about Priority Mail with free packing and pickups, and that sparked his host’s interest.

The letter carrier then submitted a lead through Customer Connect, a partnership between USPS and the National Association of Letter Carriers that encourages carriers to identify sales opportunities.

Joshua Javaheri, a Bay-Valley District business development specialist, followed up with the customer and signed a First-Class Package Service and Priority Mail shipping deal worth $189,945.

Revenue generated from Customer Connect leads is counted toward the Postal Service’s Race for a $Billion campaign goal.

The initiative — which aims to raise $1 billion through employee-provided sales leads before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30 — passed its goal on Aug. 12 and now stands at $1.2 billion, according to a Sept. 24 ranking of all district contributions.

“Even something like a conversation over a friendly cup of coffee can present a way for our carriers to help our customers,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Our customers know and trust our carriers as a good source of information about the services we offer.”

The Sales Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the Postal Service’s other lead-sharing programs, which include Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

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Best of all

USPS honored several Postal Customer Councils (PCCs) this week in recognition of their creative and innovative efforts to strengthen relationships between the organization and business mailers.

The PCC Leadership Award recipients were selected through a competitive process and rated on a set of criteria by an independent panel of judges.

The annual awards were presented Sept. 22 during this year’s National PCC Day, which was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“From our nationwide PCC network and community, you represent the best of the best,” Judy de Torok, the Postal Service’s industry engagement and outreach manager, told the honorees during the virtual ceremony.

Individual award recipients were selected in several categories:

PCC of the Year: Fort Worth PCC in Texas (metro market), South Jersey PCC in New Jersey (large market) and Greater Wilmington Area PCC in North Carolina (small market)

• PCC Industry Member of the Year: Darren Lawlor, Tampa Bay Suncoast PCC in Florida (gold); Kathy Hall, Houston PCC (silver); Vivian LaRosa, Greater Hartford PCC in Connecticut (bronze)

PCC Postal Member of the Year: Northland District Marketing Manager Mark Janda, Twin Cities PCC in Minnesota (gold); Tampa, FL, Postmaster Richard Fermo, Tampa Bay Suncoast PCC (silver); Anaheim, CA, Customer Relations Coordinator Vencent Quaglia, Santa Ana District PCC (bronze)

• District Manager of the Year: Alfred Santos, Sierra Coastal District, Sierra Coastal PCC in California

• PCC Innovation of the Year: Detroit PCC (gold), Greater Dallas PCC (silver), Fairfield County PCC in Connecticut (bronze)

• Communication Program Excellence: Tampa Bay Suncoast PCC (gold), Twin Cities PCC (silver), Greater Portland PCC in Oregon (bronze)

• Education Program Excellence: Fort Worth PCC (gold), Northeast Florida PCC (silver), Hawaii PCC (bronze)

• Membership Program Excellence: Fort Worth PCC (gold), Detroit PCC (silver), Greater St. Louis PCC (bronze)

• Mentor of the Year: Greater Baltimore PCC

• Up-and-Comer Award: Greater Philadelphia PCC

You can watch a recording of this year’s virtual National PCC Day, including the awards ceremony, on the National PCC Day website.