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Warmed up

Spring brings signs of change

Man dressed as George Washington stands near stamp poster
In May, historical actor Dan Shippey played George Washington at the Heritage Breeds stamp dedication ceremony.

Spring began with a new message from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about Delivering for America, the 10-year plan designed to put the Postal Service on more solid financial footing.

“We are just at the beginning of a process of transformation,” DeJoy said.

USPS did not let any grass grow under its feet as the season continued. Changes announced during the March-May time frame included:

• Infrastructure improvements, such as the accelerated procurement of package-sorting machines so they could be up and running by this year’s peak;

• The selection of a Spartanburg, SC, facility for next-generation delivery vehicle production; and

• New service standards for Priority Mail Express.

The third and final phase of 2020’s restructuring plan brought a voluntary early retirement option for eligible employees, and a reduction in force spurred a series of online job fairs as many workers weighed their options.

Notable stamp releases included Star Wars Droids on the pun-holiday May 4 (“May the Fourth Be With You”), and Heritage Breeds, which was dedicated May 17, the first in-person stamp ceremony since the coronavirus pandemic began.

May also saw the appointment of Doug Tulino as deputy postmaster general and chief human resources officer.

Employees continued their stellar streak of helping the Postal Service’s bottom line: Power of One, the lead-generation program for fiscal year 2021, surpassed its $1 billion goal four months before the end of the fiscal year.

And Juneteenth, an annual celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, became an official federal holiday.

As the quarter wrapped up, DeJoy thanked employees in a late June video message for their patience and diligence as the organization took its first steps in Delivering for America.

“We are already seeing beneficial improvements,” he said.

Coming next: Link’s four-part review of 2021 continues Dec. 28 with a look back at summer happenings.