• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Here’s the mail

Eric Morgan celebrates a year as Solon’s postmaster

SOLON– You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone happier to see warmer temperatures than Solon Postmaster Eric Morgan.
“Very excited to see the snow gone, as is my staff,” he noted.
Morgan, 35, took up the post in Solon Jan. 19, 2020, and celebrated his anniversary in the middle of a prolonged deep freeze, but feels lucky to be here.
“My experience here has been fantastic,” he said. “It’s honestly just a great city filled with small town charm while still developing as the days pass.”
Over the course of the year, he’s had the opportunity to help a few businesses grow by discussing shipping options and every-door direct mailings, worked with developers as the city continues to expand and assisted the residents of Solon track their packages and educate them on the processes so they understand what is happening with their item.
“I also really like my staff,” Morgan said. “I’ve got a great, hard-working staff made up of quite a few Solon residents but also staff that comes from as far away as Amana and Lone Tree.
“My staff is really what makes every day enjoyable,” he continued. “We all have the same goal of providing the best service for our customers and we all go home the way we came to work– safely.”
Working for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in both the Coralville and Cedar Rapids offices over the past six years, he’d met several members of the community in previous positions.
And he was familiar with Solon’s reputation for high school athletics, growing up as a multi-sport athlete in New Hampton.
It was about the same size as Solon, Morgan observed, and both his parents were teachers. In addition to three sports, he was also involved in band, choir, show choir, group speech and other acting endeavors.
“Keeping busy with all of that plus a part-time job at the local grocery story, I learned from an early age to set goals and priorities so that everything could fit into a day,” he said. “That was one of the things that I really enjoyed about my little town, I got to try a little of everything so I knew what I was good at, enjoyed and could be successful at in the future.”
It was a winding path for Morgan after high school.
He attended the University of Northern Iowa for two years and really struggled with the challenges of school and work. He took some time off and dabbled in sales.
“I always joke that if it’s in your house, I at one time or another probably sold it,” he remarked.
Life settled down when he accepted a job with GMAC Mortgage in Waterloo.
“I was always good with numbers and had a pretty good aptitude for finding ways of improving things,” he said.
But after three years, the company was sold and he was out of a job.
He spent two years in Boston working for Liberty Mutual and attending Southern New Hampshire University before moving back to Iowa and making his connection with the USPS.
Morgan’s new career began in September of 2015 as a city carrier assistant (CCA) at the Cedar Rapids Post Office, walking the miles and delivering packages on Sundays.
“I worked plenty of hours throughout the week and my schedule was a bit hectic for a bit, but I enjoyed the challenge and learning new things,” he recalled.
In the evenings, he finished up school online and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2016.
Before long, he had moved into a managerial position, scheduling employees to cover routes and the retail window. The interactive schedule he created for city carriers is still in use today and saves a ton of time, he added.
In Indianola, he found his first job as postmaster, but then jumped at a chance to work at Coralville. A year later, he moved up to Solon, although he still resides in Coralville.
“The postal service is huge and there is a position for everyone,” he commented. “The USPS has IT professionals, nurses, law enforcement, lawyers, planners and developers and of course the side that we all see– carriers, clerks, custodians and supervisors. Anything a large company needs to thrive, the postal service has a position to do so.”
The service is also keeping up with ever-changing times, Morgan said, including district-wide efforts to improve office safety records and safety awareness.
“The USPS is also one of the largest employers of veterans, which I find admirable,” he added. “Their service for my freedoms is something I hold in high regard, so I really enjoy being a part of a company that shares my value in that.”
The postal service is hiring throughout the organization, he said, and Solon is no exception.
The local office is currently looking for Rural Carrier Associates (RCA), a non-career position requiring individuals to carry mail from their personal vehicles.
“What sets the Solon Post Office apart from other larger offices, is that non-career carriers have a little more flexibility in hours,” he explained.
As an RCA, he continued, you cover a route during the regular carriers’ day off as well as any vacation days they take (usually two to four days weekly, 20-plus hours).
“While that doesn’t sound like a lot of hours, once you build your skills as a carrier you can ‘take your show on the road’ and assist the surrounding offices carrying mail.”
Iowa City, Coralville, Mount Vernon and Cedar Rapids are always looking for help, he added.
Once trained with a solid skill set, opportunities arise not only for carriers, but throughout the organization, leading to career postal employment, he said.
“While having to provide your own vehicle to deliver safely on the right side is a concern to those interested in the position, the initial expense will lead to a stable, long-term career,” he said.
RCAs start out at $19.06 hourly plus paid mileage, he noted, and as the route is learned, the pay changes to a physical count of the mail and package volume. Whether you get the route done in five hours or eight hours, you will be paid the same.
“Not only do our employees become a pillar in the Solon community, but there are opportunities to assist another community with their delivery needs, too,” he concluded.