- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

The Postal Service could soon be facing a serious labor shortage as nearly half of all executives and leaders are eligible for retirement in the next three years, a new report shows.

Already battling funding problems, the retirements could leave the mail delivery agency with a gap in qualified leaders with long-term experience needed to head the service, as 49 percent of executives are up for retirement before 2017.

“Because the Postal Service’s workforce demographics are rapidly changing, it must identify and develop talent for future executive positions,” said the Inspector General, the Postal Service’s internal watchdog.

USPS has taken action to train the next generation of leaders, but there lies another problem, the IG said. Of all the possible replacements to take over executive positions, 73 percent are eligible for retirement in the next seven years.

The Postal Service has begun a replacement training program that has so far been effective, but investigators said there was room for improvement. Potential candidates for leadership positions need their learning exercises and activities approved as part of the program.

But inaction by existing USPS officials caused about 17 percent of activities to never get approved, meaning the potential replacements couldn’t start their training in those areas.

A response from the Postal Service said it is continuously looking at ways to improve executive training and will take action to make sure all activities are approved on time.