Chapter 3 Our Workforce

Current leadership competency models have been revised and integrated into all existing leadership development programs, including the Executive Development Continuum (EDC), Advanced Leadership Program (ALP), and Managerial Leadership Program (MLP). An Officer Leadership Competency model has been approved to guide program design for the next stages of the EDC.

The Postal Service continues to develop a highly motivated, competent group of managers to fill key executive positions. There were 724 Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) managers in 2008, including 44 officers and 89 newly-appointed executives. To maintain a highly-productive executive workforce, the Postal Service offers four PCES developmental training tiers, known as the Executive Development Continuum (EDC). In 2008, 131 executives participated in the EDC program.

Future executives are identified through the Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) process. CSP operates on a 2-year cycle, during which employees recommended as potential successors develop and pursue personalized individual development plans to prepare them for the additional responsibilities of executive assignments. In 2008, 1,148 employees applied to be included in CSP for field executive positions and 989 CSP applicants completed the Executive Competencies for Effective Leadership (EXCEL) online assessment designed to help guide the selection process and the career development of individual applicants.


The Postal Service offers a comprehensive learning continuum for all employees to reinforce success and drive performance. It accomplishes this objective through training programs that allow employees to build their operational skills and knowledge, and enhance their personal competencies. The learning continuum encompasses leadership development and talent management at all levels, and is designed to meet the varied and changing needs of an inclusive organization.

Orientation for Postal Leaders (OPL) was developed to help newly hired headquarters EAS and PCES employees gain an understanding of our business, including our mission and strategic direction. The program was implemented in September. The Growing the Business module prepares new employees to use and market our products and services and includes a tutorial on and a Discovery Map activity.

The Discovery Map is an interactive orientation tool which demonstrates how revenue is generated, costs are expended, and how the challenges of a constantly changing business environment affect the bottom line. Emphasis is on how day-to-day actions and decisions have a financial impact on the organization.

The National Center for Employee Development (NCED) in Norman, OK, is the Postal Service’s primary learning facility to manage, maintain, and operate postal systems; support mail-processing equipment; improve systems performance; manage networking infrastructures; and deploy new vehicles. In 2008, NCED delivered 336 courses to 377,200 people — 18 percent more students than in 2007. 23,552 attended the NCED campus, taking courses that ran from three days to six-weeks. Another 353,648 employees completed courses in their home offices, a 19 percent increase. This increase reflects ongoing efforts to expand employee access through eLearning, DVDs, and field-site delivery.

A major NCED initiative this year was the support of the Postal Service’s Continuous Improvement Lean Six Sigma initiative. NCED delivered resident and field training to more than 1,200 supervisors, managers and executives. Training was also developed to support operation and maintenance of the Flats Sequencing System; a new automated process to place larger mail pieces into delivery sequence. Installation of two, training-sized FSS machines at NCED began in late 2008, and courses will be taught both day and night beginning in 2009.

The Postal Service provided 424 eLearning courses in 2008, with participants completing 246,217 courses. Courses combined materials developed in-house and commercial off-the-shelf products designed to enhance employee performance.

Multiple systems now deliver and track postal training programs, but this year the Postal Service began integrating them into a single Learning Management System (LMS). LMS will better align training assets and processes with business goals and employee performance needs. It will also allow the Postal Service to streamline business processes, implement enterprise learning technology, and accelerate learning benefits.


Diversity is key to Postal Service success and impacts every aspect of the organization — its employees, its customers, and its performance. Postal Service diversity reflects the diversity of the nation. It comprises not only race, color, national origin, and gender, but other attributes, including social background, education, life experience, and perspective.

Did You Know? USPS is the nation's second largest employer.The Postal Service is one of the leading employers of minorities and women. Minorities comprised 38.96 percent of the workforce, and women comprised 37.33 percent. Twenty-one percent of employees are African-Americans; 8 percent are Hispanic; 8 percent are Asian-Americans; and 0.06 percent are American Indian/Alaska Natives.