By Jack Fink

DALLAS (CBS11) – Three years ago, Olivia McPeek, single mother of two, started working part-time delivering packages for UPS.

And her career continues to accelerate.  “I started here making $10.25 an hour with no promise of a full-time job.  In three months, I went to a supervisor position where I tripled my income and then within a year, I was full-time package car driving tripling my income as well.”

Now as they gear up for the Christmas shopping season, UPS, Fed Ex, Walmart, Amazon and others are looking to hire hundreds of people just like McPeek at a job fair in Dallas Thursday afternoon.

It will be held Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas from 1-6pm.

UPS wants to hire 1700 seasonal employees in Dallas alone, and it needs an additional 1100 people in the entire DFW region.

Chris Davis, Community Coordinator of Human Resources at UPS in Dallas says, “The biggest change that we’ve had this year compared to prior years is that the robust economy is creating a tremendous amount of competition for people for these jobs.”

Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioners Court Judge, says the nature of the job fair is different this year.  “These past job fairs have been kind of like a lunch date, where you get dressed up and things may not work out.  This is a job hook-up and if you come down and want to get a job, you’re going to get a job.”

UPS is looking for package handlers, drivers and those who help drivers in company trucks deliver packages.

For the first time this year in DFW, UPS is allowing seasonal employees to drive their own cars when delivering packages, instead of their trucks.

They’ll earn $18.75 an hour and 53 cents a mile.

UPS says it regularly promotes employees like McPeek, and that it plans to hire an additional 1500 full-time employees next year.