SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From billboards to commercials and store windows all across KELOLAND, it’s easy to see just about every business is looking for more workers. That includes the United States Postal Service, which recently ramped up recruiting efforts in South Dakota.
“We work seven days a week in this office,” Sioux Falls Postmaster Larry Michels said.
Postal workers became even more essential during the pandemic as more Americans relied on deliveries for online orders and work from home communication.
“We staffed heavier to get the mission of the company accomplished,” Michels said.
That increased volume brought a need for more workers.
“We had employees that had to work extra hours, extra days, longer hours; what we’re trying to do is get that gap bridged so we can give our employees the time off they deserve,” Michels said.
Filling that gap has become especially challenging in Sioux Falls where there are openings for at least 15 new postal service employees.
“With a three percent unemployment rate in Sioux Falls, it does make it difficult, but the postal service is a great place to work and there’s a lot of advantages to working for the postal service.
One of its biggest advertisements has always been competitive pay and benefits.
“It continuously goes up,” Michels said. “The salary for employees starts in that $17-range and goes to a little over $19 for a starting salary for mail clerks, carriers and handlers.”
“I looked at other opportunities and the pay was definitely better at the postal service,” Nonie Kuyper said.
Kuyper started working for the postal service last February.
“It’s fast paced, I’m always doing something, and I feel there’s a lot of different opportunities to move forward,” Kuyper said.
Postmaster Larry Michaels says the post office promotes from within; while carriers may be the most recognized position, there are many other roles to fill at USPS.
“We have electronic technicians, we have IT professionals, we have industrial engineers,” Michels said. “We have over 2,000 challenging jobs in 31,000 cities across the country.”