ALAMEDA, Calif. – While the Bay Area is still the world leader in tech, there are plenty of people still looking for more traditional jobs.
The US Postal Service hoped to attract more than 200 job seekers at a job fair in Alameda on Saturday.
With the country’s unemployment rate dipping to 3.6%, near pre-pandemic lows, there are still plenty of jobs, but there’s a lot of competition to find workers.
The USPS is no exception, but it is succeeding in attracting candidates.
As of 11:30 a.m. Saturday, more than 130 people had arrived at the US Post Office in Alameda to inquire about a job with more than two hours to go.
That number was on track to possibly match the 326 who showed up at the last job fair there about six months ago.
“I think we’re doing really well today. I think it’s great. I wasn’t too sure,” said Mary Bream, who works in Human Resources for the USPS. “We have it listed on Eventbrite and I think we’re actually going to have more than is listed.”
One job seeker said that he had been working in the video game industry, but wanted to leave the desk to be outdoors.
“I applied for a job, the position is City Carrier.” Xuejie Song said.
Postal carrier is the job that often comes to mind when one thinks of the post office, but there are many other positions that need to be filled.
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“We’re hiring several hundred people, not just in my area, which is San Francisco, San Jose, all the way to the Oregon border, but Sacramento, Oakland and everything in between, everywhere,” Bream said.
Servinte Warrick said he is part of the big resignation and recently left a job. She now she is looking for something with stability and growth opportunities.
“I was a tow truck operator and I liked the job, but it didn’t feel like something I wanted to do for life. There wasn’t a lot of room for opportunity and I liked growing in the company and stuff.” Warrick said.
Oakland’s interim postmaster said if growth is what people want, the post office can provide it.
“When the opportunity presents itself, we generally promote from within,” said Sunil Chanan. “So anyone you see at the job fair, Mary, me or anyone you see, most of them used to be letter carriers or mail handlers or tractor trailer operators.”
Other job seekers say they’re looking for both tangible and intangible benefits that many other jobs don’t offer, like health insurance and stability.
“My grandmother used to work for the USPS in Berkeley, so I thought, if my grandmother did it, so will I. But a lot of people, I’ve noticed a lot of people have been there for more than five or 10 years,” Shay Vell said.
Managers at the site said that in the next three to five years, more than a third of postal workers will be eligible to retire, so there will be plenty of opportunity for the foreseeable future.
The post office said it used the Eventbrite website to help spread the word and allow people to register for the fair.
But they also used something tried and true that some job seekers told us they received, a postcard in the mail.