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Compliance with Statutory Policies
A. ATTRACTING THE RIGHT APPLICANTS FOR THE RIGHT JOBS
The Postal Service has placed a renewed emphasis on customer focus, attitude, and teamwork in the hiring process. To support this emphasis, extensive research was conducted and a new selection tool for entry-level hiring was implemented in 2005. The system is designed to be a thorough, fair assessment of the job-related skills and abilities that will assist the Postal Service in achieving success today and into the future. The influence of technological improvements and increasing competition has and will continue to change the demands placed on our workforce. These changes have highlighted the need for a different set of skills and abilities. In an increasingly competitive environment, customer service has become even more of a critical factor in determining whether the public will identify the Postal Service as the service provider of choice.
B. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY ENHANCEMENTS
In 2005 more than 56 thousand reassignment requests from 22,700 employees were submitted through eReassign. From this number, more than 4,500 career bargaining unit employees have been successfully transferred. Approximately 20 percent of bargaining unit vacancies were filled through eReassign. In 2006 eReassign will be enhanced to automate the Priority Voluntary Transfer provision in the American Postal Worker's Union (APWU) contract extension.
During 2005 the Postal Service continued efforts to highlight the importance of careful, complete suitability screening of applicants and to assist field offices in pre-employment screening efforts. The process for obtaining records had varied by location, with most offices manually requesting local records. The capacity for electronic collection of criminal and motor vehicle records is currently being deployed nationally. Turnaround time is now reduced, accuracy is enhanced, and compliance with screening requirements has improved.
New Internet-based training was implemented to provide a hands-on multimedia learning experience for employees responsible for interviewing applicants for entry-level positions. The training emphasizes gathering information from the applicant to verify suitability for employment and determining whether the applicant is a good fit for the job.
C. TECHNICAL AND CRAFT EDUCATION
The National Center for Employee Development (NCED), a state-of-the-art training facility in Norman, Oklahoma, supports Postal Service efforts to manage and maintain postal systems;
upgrade letter, flats and parcels processing; deploy Postal Automated Redirection System Phase II; upgrade the networking infrastructure; and deploy new vehicles. In 2005 NCED significantly expanded in-depth campus programs, field-site delivery, and e-learning courses. It provided 285 courses in 2,865 course offerings to 175 thousand people - more than twice the students served the previous year. NCED satellite and audio distance learning networks again delivered Postal Service training and information broadcasts. More than 740 thousand students received distance learning in their home offices. Core NCED programs provided business and employee education on management and maintenance of automation systems, customer service equipment, facilities, and vehicles. Other courses include business mail management, information technology, network supervision, safety and environmental compliance, and administrative topics.
NCED revenues exceeded expenses for the fifth straight year. Non-postal conferences and client training of business mailers held on the NCED site generated more than $2.2 million.
The Postal Service also revised national training programs on Orientation for New Employees and Standardized Skills for Letter Carriers. The Orientation for New Employees program, which launched September 1, features a more positive and targeted message to the new workforce. The 3-day orientation presents an interactive curriculum in which new employees have an opportunity to tour a major postal facility, engage in a full day of safety training, and participate in break-out sessions with representatives from various crafts. This innovative program includes practical job aids to help new carriers succeed with a strong orientation that reinforces our values while at the same time providing details on how to do the job. It was developed using the "day-in-the-life" framework successfully used for rural carrier training, and builds on best practices and national initiatives.
D. MANAGEMENT TRAINING
New training for human resource (HR) managers was implemented with 118 participants completing various parts of the program. This course addresses the strategic role HR managers must play in developing people and meeting aggressive goals. Leadership Effectiveness for Safety Managers was also piloted and delivered, with more than 60 participants. The course covers the role of the district safety manager, including relationships with operations and other functions. It emphasizes the management of priorities, delegation of responsibilities, and staff development.
The Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) has been the Postal Service's premier leadership development initiative since 1998. It targets successful mid-level managers who demonstrate high potential to assume greater responsibility. The ALP's content is aligned with the Postal Service's Executive Competency Model. A total of 1,432 participants completed the program through November 2005.