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The USPS’s Coming Cuts: Ripple Effects in Virginia

By Brandy Simpson | July 28, 2011 | No Comments

In an announcement on Tuesday, the U.S. Postal Service stated that it is looking to cut down on costs by closing approximately 3,700 post offices across the nation.  In Virginia alone, 95 post offices have been targeted for closure.

After a thorough review of its network, the Postal Service estimated that it will save close to $200 million a year by closing underperforming post offices.  Over ninety percent of the post offices deemed as underperforming generate less than $27,500, while costing over $100,000 in operation costs.

The trouble with this announcement for many Virginians is that a lot of the postal workers will lose their jobs if their post office is closed.  Although the U.S. Postal Service reiterated that a spot on its list does not mean certain closure, the news is still troublesome for Virginia and the nation’s postmasters.  In regions such as Central and Southern Virginia, there are already difficulties with high unemployment rates.  Three post offices in Norfolk and two post offices in Roanoke are up for review.  Additionally, four months ago, a downtown Roanoke post office was closed due to low revenue.

In an effort to modernize and cater to its on-the-go customers, the U.S. Postal Service has proposed a “Village Post Office” model. These “Village” post offices will be located in local stores, gas stations, libraries, and town halls.  Customers will still be able to purchase stamps and shipping materials, without incurring the costs of a operating a full post office.  The U.S. Postal Service stated that laid off workers from the aforementioned closed post offices will be able to apply as a clerk in these “Village” post offices.  Yet, the Postal Service only foresees hiring one clerk per “Village” post office, again leaving many without a job.

There are always difficulties that come with modernization.  Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service is faced with the tough decision to cut costs and jobs in its attempt to keep up with an ever-changing market.

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