UPS looks to hire nearly 2,000 seasonal employees in Harrisburg area

United Parcel Service (UPS) announced it seeks to hire more than 1,960 seasonal employees in the Harrisburg area for the holiday season. 

The company looks to hire more than 100,000 seasonal employees nationally, and close to 80% of those positions do not require an interview due to its digital-first process that takes approximately 20 minutes to complete online. 

According to UPS, the company is doing the following: 

  • Filling full- and part-time seasonal positions – primarily seasonal delivery drivers, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers and package handlers – by offering industry leading wages across multiple shifts in hundreds of locations across the country. 
  • Pay seasonal hourly rates beginning at $21 per hour for package handlers and driver helpers. Driving jobs begin at $23 per hour. 
  • Create jobs that pay leading wages and benefits and offers opportunities for promotion and paid education for employees who stay with the company. 

“The best talent delivers the best service,” Nando Cesarone, Executive Vice President and President, U.S., said in a statement. “That’s why we’re proud to offer industry-leading pay for UPS part-timers, full-timers, and seasonal employees alike. 

“We’re looking forward to delivering yet another leading on-time performance this holiday season and helping thousands of workers kick off their UPS careers in the process.” 

Nearly 50,000 seasonal employees have earned permanent positions at UPS the past two years. Through the company’s “Earn and Learn” program, eligible employees can earn up to $25,000 (lifetime maximum) for college tuition and expenses.

Shapiro Administration launches Office of Outdoor Recreation

Gov. Josh Shapiro on Thursday launched Pennsylvania’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, highlighting the 2023-24 budget’s $112 million budget investment in state parks and forests – the largest in decades. 

“Our state parks and outdoor recreation industry are key to Pennsylvania’s economy – hosting nearly 40 million visitors each year and boosting local businesses and the local economy in and around our parks,” Shapiro said. “When we invest real money to make our natural resources more accessible for Pennsylvanians, it helps communities and businesses grow and thrive.” 

The focus of the Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation will be on growing an outdoor sector that contributes $14 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for 152,000 jobs. 

To create a strategy for the growth and expansion of the outdoor sector, the Office of Outdoor Recreation will coordinate with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the departments of Community and Economic Development and Health, PennDOT, and others. 

“The budget that I recently signed delivers on the promise of a new Pennsylvania Office of Outdoor Recreation to strengthen our communities and grow the commonwealth’s outdoor economy,” Shapiro said.

Gettysburg tourism big business for local communities

More than 786,000 visitors to Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site in 2022 spent $57.1 million in communities near the park, according to a new National Park Service (NPS) report. 

Tourism spending supported 686 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $82.1 million.

“Gettysburg and Eisenhower welcome visitors locally and from around the world,” Superintendent Steven D. Sims said in a statement. “We are happy to be able to share the stories of the Battle of Gettysburg and the lives of President and First Lady, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, to the numerous experiences they provide. 

“We also appreciate the partnerships and support of our neighbors and are very fortunate to be part of the thriving heritage tourism and outdoor recreation communities throughout south-central Pennsylvania.”

Economists at the National Park Service conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis. The report shows $23.9 billion of direct spending by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. 

This spending supported 378,400 jobs nationally; 314,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.

The lodging sector had the highest direct effects of visitor spending, with $9 billion in economic output nationally. The second greatest effect went to the restaurant sector, with $4.6 billion in economic output nationally.

Small businesses seek to benefit from Shapiro Administration’s new prompt pay policy

A prompt pay policy requiring prime contractors to pay small diverse and veteran-owned business subcontractors faster on state contracts has been implemented by the Shapiro Administration.

Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) Secretary Reggie McNeil announced the policy implementation Thursday. The new prompt pay policy requires non-construction prime contractors to pay their small diverse business (SBD) and veteran-owned business enterprise (VBE) subcontractors within 10 days of receipt of payment from the commonwealth. 

The policy will not affect the payment rate for construction programs which is statutorily mandated at 14 days.

McNeil said the policy will ensure small diverse businesses and veteran-owned businesses providing goods and services to the commonwealth are paid quickly to improve their experience in the state contracting system.

“We all know the important role access to capital plays in the sustainability of our small business community, and the sooner these businesses are paid for their goods and services, the sooner they can invest it in the next opportunity that will strengthen and grow their business,” McNeil said in a statement.

In addition to the prompt pay policy, the following improvements have been implemented:

  • Reducing the time it takes to certify a small business with DGS by 33%. 
  • Conducting frequent Supplier Search workshops aimed at educating small minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses on the available contracting opportunities within DGS’s construction and commodities bureaus. 
  • Monthly notifications of upcoming contracting opportunities to allow for better resource planning and statewide outreach efforts to grow the pool of registered SBs/SDBs/VBEs. 

“By helping our small diverse and veteran-owned businesses succeed, we’re growing our economy and supporting good-paying jobs across Pennsylvania,” McNeil said.

AFSCME’s tour visits Harrisburg to promote public service jobs

Addressing the need to fill open public service positions throughout Pennsylvania, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride and members of AFSCME Council 13 joined House Speaker Joanna McClinton at a press conference Tuesday in Harrisburg. 

A commonwealth-sponsored hiring hall will take place Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the AFSCME Council 13 Conference Center in Harrisburg. Job seekers can meet with recruiters from several agencies – including the Departments of Corrections, Human Services, Environmental Protection, Transportation, General Services, Revenue, and Banking – and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions on the spot. 

“Never before have we been able to see so many vacancies, all at the same time, through different departments here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” McClinton said at the press conference. “But the best thing is – right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – we have people of all backgrounds, all ages, who have the qualifications and skills to fill these vacancies. And we look forward to them coming to the hiring fair (Wednesday), learning about the opportunities, and spreading them across their networks so we can fill these jobs.” 

Short staffing exists among nurses, PennDOT workers, corrections officers, and others. AFSCME launched the “Staff the Front Lines” initiative this year, to partner with elected officials on recruiting and retaining the essential workers who keep communities running. The Staff the Front Lines bus is holding recruitment events in more than 20 major cities across the U.S. this summer. 

“We are doing this because our communities simply cannot function without the everyday heroes who keep our streets clean, take our kids to school and ensure our water is safe to drink, and we need a lot more people filling these vital roles,” AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David Henderson said. “On top of making our communities better, these are often union jobs with good pay, great benefits, retirement plans and job security.” 

AFSCME Council 13 Member and Pennsylvania Department of Human Services worker Susan Bosco said it doesn’t matter how old or young an applicant is or where they’re from. 

“If you have a passion to serve your community, you can do this work,” said Bosco. “That is why public service often reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. … Take it from me, as someone who has lived through it: In the private sector, you are often seen as just a number. In public service, you are an essential part of your community.” 

McBride said the population of Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Reading, and Scranton combined (970,000) is also the number of public sector job vacancies in the U.S. 

“And that’s why we started the national Staff the Front Lines bus tour,” said McBride. “At every stop on the tour, we’re talking about the importance of recruiting and retaining the next generation of public service and health care workers. We’re lifting up the fact that these union jobs come with strong rights and protections. We’re shining a light on the opportunity to be part of something bigger.”

Pa. July unemployment rate reaches record low

Pennsylvania’s July unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, an historic low that matches the national unemployment rate, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) announced Friday. 

Dropping by three-tenths of a percentage point in July to 3.5%, the state’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest on record dating to January 1976. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage points below its level of 4.3% in July 2022. 

The state’s civilian labor force, which is the estimated number of residents working or looking for work, fell by 9,000 in July. The resident employment rate for the month increased by 6,000 and unemployment dropped by 15,000. 

Nonfarm jobs in Pennsylvania increased by 14,400 over the month to a record high of 6,149,000. It marked the seventh straight month employment has set a new high. Eight of the 11 industry supersectors saw employment increase, the largest being in education and health services, which rose by 6,700 to a new high. Business and professional services also reached a record high. 

Total nonfarm jobs over the year increased by 143,000 with all 11 supersectors seeing gains. The largest gain among supersectors was in education and health services, which rose by 45,200.