The Question that Changed a Life

Laura Hernandez had been working at UPS for several years as a part-time package handler when the unthinkable happened—her husband was hit and killed by a drunk driver. “Things got bad for a while and then they got worse,” Laura says. “Within a year the children and I were homeless.”

Left to provide for her family on a single salary, Laura put in her two weeks’ notice to pursue a more permanent position outside UPS. That’s when Mike Ciavarella of Human Resources stepped in, with the philosophy of “just taking the time to get to know our people”, and asked a life-changing question—“What else can you do?”

“What I was searching for in my discussion with Laura,” says Mike, “was to try to find out if there was any other opportunity for her at UPS.”

Laura told Mike she had been a maintenance mechanic in a previous job. “Incredible”, Mike thought. He then told Laura that she would be the perfect candidate for the maintenance mechanic program at UPS.

It was a moment of hope for Laura at a time when she thought all hope was lost. Today, Laura is the only full-time, female plant-engineering mechanic at UPS super hub in Chicago, Illinois. For the 28-year UPSer, family and UPS have become synonymous, with four of her children now also working for the company.

“My UPS family would not let me go without a fight and for that I will always be grateful.” Laura says.

Did You Know?

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UPS has a long-standing history of promotion from within, supported by strong employee mentorship programs.

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In 2016 alone, more than 18,000 part-time employees at UPS advanced to full-time work.

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A majority of UPS’s top executives began their careers working in UPS operations, including CEO David Abney.