All’s fair

The Postal Service’s job fairs are attracting hundreds of applicants for seasonal and career positions as the organization ramps up for the busy winter holidays.

More than 500 people applied for jobs at a recent fair at the Milwaukee Main Post Office.

“We were hoping for around 100 people the first day and in the first hour, we already had 75,” said Lisa Wojnarowski, a USPS workforce planning specialist.

About 100 job seekers attended an event in Cincinnati, where they learned about the organization’s compensation packages and on-the-job training programs and received help beginning the online application process.

“They were very eager to learn about the positions available,” said Kelly Patterson, human resources manager for Ohio 2 District.

The job fairs are among dozens hosted by USPS across the nation as part of a major push to fill approximately 40,000 seasonal positions, as well as hundreds of career positions, this winter.

Attracting and retaining new employees is a focus of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan to achieve financial stability.

Preregistration, social distancing and face masks are required to attend the fairs, which include outdoor events like one in Charlotte, NC.

“We had cars lined up before the event started and they kept coming throughout the day,” said LeQuish Jackson, a customer service operations manager.

In addition to helping USPS fill jobs, the fairs allow the organization cultivate the next generation of its workforce, according to Linda Witherspoon, a Milwaukee customer service operations manager.

“We hope to find people who will bring new ideas to keep the Post Office going into the future,” she said.

College care

The Postal Service can help customers who want to give it the college try when sending the comforts of home to students away at school this fall.

Before baking and shipping a student’s favorite cookies, the organization recommends customers review Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, which is available on usps.com.

Here are some tips:

Properly address envelopes and packages. Customers should make sure they have the correct ZIP+4 code, which they can look up on usps.com.

Include the recipient’s full name and complete address. Don’t forget the student’s dormitory name (if applicable), room or apartment number or assigned PO Box number and any directional information (example: 123 S Main St SW). When shipping packages, include an index card with the recipient’s and sender’s addresses in case the box opens in transit.

Don’t reuse or overstuff boxes and envelopes. Customers can visit a Post Office to pick up free Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, which include tracking and up to $50 of insurance with most shipments. Click-N-Ship allows customers to print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free Package Pickup service.

Pack carefully. When shipping fragile items, leave a little space for cushioning. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately. Customers can also get resourceful with sentimental items. Wrap a T-shirt around a favorite coffee mug from home, a pennant from a local sports team or a thumb drive of family photos.

Be careful. While electronics, toiletries, laundry supplies and first-aid essentials are appreciated, there are rules for shipping liquids and aerosols. When in doubt, send a gift card, which fits in business envelopes and regular-sized card envelopes. Also: Don’t ship an electronic device with the batteries inside the device.

Customers who need more help can also consult the Postal Service’s YouTube channel, which has videos demonstrating proper package techniques and other tips.

River dance

The Postal Service will release Otters in Snow, a booklet of 20 stamps depicting playful otters in their element, on Oct. 12.

Each of the four designs portrays a lone North American river otter amusing itself in a frozen landscape. In one, the creature’s head breaks the surface of an icy river; in another, it is surrounded by snow and looking directly at the viewer; and in the other two, otters happily slide down a snowbank.

The Forever stamps portray the animals’ exuberant spirit but are realistic rather than fanciful. They were illustrated in pen, ink and watercolor by artist John Burgoyne, and designed by Derry Noyes.

The North American river otter has a vast habitat, ranging from the Arctic Circle and Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Its dense, double-layered coat allows it to thrive in and around the water, no matter the season.

Though paragons of playfulness, otters are known to be aggressive. They are part of the family Mustelidae — which includes the honey badger and wolverine — and are territorial, sharp-toothed apex predators.

It is believed that a lot what we view as play — such as their penchant for rolling down snowy or muddy hills — is of practical use, helping to strengthen social bonds, mark territory and to teach survival skills to young pups.

The Otters in Snow stamps will be available at Post Offices and usps.com.

NPF highlights

The Postal Service has published a series of five videos from the recent National Postal Forum.

The virtual event took place Sept. 20-22.

The videos are from the opening session, which took the form of a roundtable discussion hosted by Judy de Torok, the Postal Service’s vice president for corporate affairs.

The session featured a one-on-one interview with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, followed by a series of discussions with other USPS officers.

Joining DeJoy were:

• Doug Tulino, deputy postmaster general and chief human resources officer
Isaac Cronkhite, chief logistics and processing operations officer
Joshua Colin, chief retail and delivery officer
Joe Corbett, chief financial officer
Steve Monteith, chief customer and marketing officer
Jakki Krage Strako, chief commerce and business solutions officer
Jenny Utterback, vice president for organization development

The videos from the opening session focus on five themes: the Delivering for America plan’s progress, employee empowerment, peak season, capital investments and new products.

The videos can also be found on the USPS-TV page on Blue.

The National Postal Forum, or NPF, is a not-for-profit educational corporation founded in 1968 to ensure open lines of communication between USPS and business customers.