The United States Postal Service (USPS) will soon hold its second job fair on Vashon in less than two months, aiming to add more staff to the island’s post office, which has experienced serious staffing shortages in the past year.
The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 10, at Vashon Library.
It’s part of a roll-out of 26 hiring fairs to be held across the state in March, according to a press release that detailed USPS’s goal to hire 1,000 people state-wide.
Kim Frum, a postal spokesperson based in the Seattle area, said in an email that there had been some progress in terms of filling vacant positions on Vashon, but more staffing was needed.
“We are still facing staffing shortages on Vashon and elsewhere in the state,” Frum said, adding that there are currently five routes to fill on Vashon. For those routes, she said, USPS currently has at least four applicants going through the hiring process.
USPS jobs, including those on Vashon, are also posted internally so that current, qualified employees who work elsewhere can apply for them, Frum said.
Vashon’s Post Office has eight regular routes and one auxiliary route. For now, unfilled routes are being filled by temporary workers, who must commute to Vashon from the mainland.
Last week, multiple sources with direct knowledge of operations at Vashon’s post office told The Beachcomber that one recently-hired local carrier had just resigned, only months into their new job.
Local management of the post office, the sources strongly suggested, needed not only to hire new workers but also increase their efforts to retain them.
Vashon’s postal problems have been exacerbated by a volume of package delivery that is higher than in many similarly-sized communities, said David Rupert, who is in charge of USPS communications for the western United States.
Late last year, Rupert told The Beachcomber that approximately 2,500 packages, from Amazon and other shippers, arrive for delivery on Vashon each day, while other knowledgeable sources on Vashon have reported the number as even higher on some days.
Currently, the job site of USPS, usps.com/careers, only lists openings on Vashon for rural carriers associates (RCAs), described as “a non-career position that may lead to a career position.”
The salary listed for the job is $19.94 per hour, paid bi-weekly, with the opportunity to immediately enroll in the USPS Health Benefits Plan with a Postal Service premium contribution. After a year on the job, RCAs may become eligible for most expanded health care benefits.
The website page, about.usps.com/careers, details more information about working for USPS. See the specific listing for RCA positions on Vashon at tinyurl.com/cn7zunbm.