UPS Worker Shortage Looms Locally
As baby boomers retire and online shopping surges, UPS is trying to find enough local workers to meet the demand.
The UPS worker shortage is not an anomaly. It’s affecting Minnesota businesses throughout a variety of industries. It’s estimated 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 nationwide each day.
For a company like UPS, with daily deliveries, the need to find workers is urgent. On this day, more than 200 drivers will deliver a total of about 65,000 packages throughout the northwest metro. Some drivers will make 200 stops in a day.
“When you think package delivery, you see a professional UPS driver that gets out of a truck and brings you a package with a smile everyday, but there’s an immense amount of work that goes into that,” says Ken Baker, UPS Lakeshore Business Manager in Maple Grove.
Navigating amid the day’s weather conditions is one of the main topics at the daily morning safety meeting, where safe driving is the top priority. At this facility, UPS honors drivers with 25 years of service and zero crashes by putting their names on the wall. UPS wants workers like that.
“We still have a 20 driver shortage right now, and we’re looking for 20 really solid candidates that are ready to take that step,” says Baker.
Between now and September, UPS will work to make those new hires as it gears up for the busy holiday season later in the year.
Amid UPS Worker Shortage, Company Offers Attractive Compensation Package
UPS Human Resources Supervisor Kate Kane says UPS is currently hiring full-time drivers. Not long ago, UPS primarily hired part-time drivers who had to work their way up to reach full-time.
“I think the best thing about jobs at UPS is that you can make a really incredible living and have a pension and amazing benefits, and you don’t have to have an education to get them,” says Kane.
New full-time drivers start at $18.75 an hour plus weekly overtime. By year four, drivers make more than $36 dollars an hour plus weekly overtime.
“You’re really talking about a $100,000 a year job,” says Baker of drivers at the four year mark and beyond.
UPS Faces Challenges Competing for Workers
UPS knows it’s battling for workers amid a culture of celebrity. It’s one of many challenges facing workplaces in an era of Amazon, Apple and Google.
“In the modern world, people view jobs from the perspective of how glamorous they are. The next generation was raised on social media. They were raised on technology and companies such as Apple and Google,” says Baker.
UPS needs men and women who can recognize a good opportunity.
“We make the world work. We move the products that everybody makes. That’s a great job to have,” says Baker.
A UPS driver hiring fair will take place this Saturday, June 9, in Maple Grove. It runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the UPS facility located at 8501 Valley Forge Lane.