Sweet summertime – ahh… the season that (most) people look forward to. Sun, warm temperatures, vacations, break from school, etc. But the heat and humidity that summer brings can be a game changer when it comes to paper products.

As the temperature in the air increases, so does its ability to retain moisture. When humidity levels increase, the fibers in the paper draw in moisture very quickly, resulting in expansion. For example, think about the doors in your house and how they seem to stick during the summertime. That’s because of materials expanding due to the humidity. The same happens with paper tubes and cores.

During summertime conditions, paper tubes and cores manufactured in high humidity can shrink drastically if an end-user puts them into an air-conditioned room with extremely low humidity. Humidity can weaken the tubes and cores which will then cause them to fail. If used in a timely manner, less moisture will affect the product. Paper tubes and cores should not be stored near any type of heating or cooling unit, in an air stream of heated or cooled air or in the path of a humidifying stream of air. Knowing your storage environment is very critical.

Understanding how moisture and humidity affects paper tubes and cores is imperative for end-users as they are looking for the products to have the best appearance and performance. To ensure optimum performance, control the relative humidity (R.H.) levels and temperature in the processing and storage environments.

   

Quality is a word we are all very familiar with. A word that can prove many different meanings and be portrayed in many different fashions. Companies leverage their marketing efforts around the word ‘quality’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a part of their actual process. Today’s world is filled with endless varieties of products available with many companies vying for your money, so you may be wondering whether or not quality still matters and the answer is… YES, 100% YES.

We don’t just talk about quality here at Yazoo. We live, breathe and manufacture it. We have a reputation for high-quality products that are manufactured to each customer’s specifications. Our highly-skilled team works together, day in and day out, to find innovative ways to manufacture our products more efficiently, while maintaining a top-notch level of quality.

Regardless of what industry you’re in, customers aren’t going to choose you solely based on price but rather on quality. Consumers expect Yazoo to deliver on our promise of manufacturing high-quality paper tubes and cores and as a team, we always exceed that expectation. We provide a high-level of confidence with every order that leaves our manufacturing floor.

Managing quality effectively is a crucial part to being a successful business. That’s just one reason why Yazoo has remained an industry leader for over 119 years.

   

Larry Kuhn, a well-seasoned Yazoo veteran, has grown with our company during his tenure of two and a half decades. He started fresh out of high school, at the young age of 18 as a Baler & Winding Table and went on to hold positions in our Recut department as packer, machine operator, setup operator and lead. He never misses a beat, powers through busy workloads and always greets you with a smile or a laugh.

We are proud of Larry’s hard work and dedication he has given to our company while working here for the last 26 years. We would like to congratulate him on his promotion to Supervisor in our Recut Department! In his new role, Larry is in charge of eight employees in the Small I.D. department where they ensure that products are burr and trim free.  He also focuses on QA as well as managing bulk orders with a lot of pieces; anywhere from 10-40,000 sticks. He makes sure that his team is always on the ball, giving our customers high-quality products that fit their specifications.

You’re probably wondering “what’s kept him here so long?” Larry likes what he does and loves being able to work with his hands. He’s an innovative thinker and problem solver so the wheels are constantly spinning for him. He likes the convenience of working close to home, the unbeatable benefits that Yazoo has to offer and the solid foundation that the company has built, not only for its customers but for its employees.

In his spare time, you’ll find him playing softball and basketball, finding new restaurants and trying out new foods. Oh, and don’t be intimidated by his size, he’s truly a big teddy bear!

Congrats on your promotion, Larry. We’re excited to see you take your department to the next level!

     

We are constantly learning things all throughout our lives.  From the time we are babies to every day in your adulthood, learning never stops, especially in college.  Younger generations entering the printing industry are learning trade from different angles and technologies than compared to previous generations before them.  Learning things from a presentation is one thing but learning how to do things by having a hands-on experience, takes it to a new level.  The students in Cincinnati State’s Graphic Imaging Technology Program are learning by doing just that – having hands-on exposure with printing processes.

The Graphic Imaging Technology Program, which started in 1966, trains their graduates to be proficient in all areas of the print industry.  Approximately 30 students learn how to create art digitally with a focus on developing graphics for the print process, through various Adobe programs.  During the two years that students spend at Cincinnati State, they have direct hands-on exposure to preparing and producing projects in the Flexographic, Offset, Screen and Digital print processes.  From designing the art, to plate-making and operating the presses, the students learn how to do it all.  In addition to learning how to run the machines, the students also complete courses that include estimating, workflow and color management.

Yazoo’s generous donation of paper cores to the GIT program enables the faculty to teach the students how to run the machines properly and prepares them for the print industry.  The students enrolled in the GIT program also complete two semesters of co-op work experience at various local print facilities, allowing the students to work in a real-world environment.

The program has almost a 100% job placement rate because of the great support they get from the local printing industry.  Kathleen Freed, Professor of the Graphic Imaging Technology Program, says “Without Yazoo’s donation, we would not be able to print student projects on our flexo presses in our Flexographic Printing courses.  Each student prints a one-color, two-color, four-color (spot) and process color project over the course of the semester, allowing them to expand their skill-set properly.”  We are thrilled to continue our donation to colleges across the nation that offer printing courses to help prepare the students for their career in the flexographic industry.

     

Workplace safety is extremely important and should be a priority to all employers.  That is why industries across the world have health and safety procedures in place.  All employees desire to work in a safe and protected environment every single day which becomes the responsibility of not only the company’s but also the workers, too.  We interviewed Yazoo’s HR/Safety Coordinator, Trisha May, to get her take on workplace safety and how Yazoo continues to implement safe practices throughout our locations.

  1. How are you involved with safety?
    • As safety coordinator, I conduct safety orientation for new employees. We review safety policies and make sure that employees know where all emergency exits and first aid kits are located and where to report in case of an emergency evacuation.  I coordinate safety training for all employees, such as Lockout/tagout, First Aid/CPR/AED, Fire Extinguisher training, SDS training, etc. and make sure our records are up-to-date. I am also the secretary of the safety committee, so I take notes during each meeting and make sure each member receives a copy of them. I also assist in the investigation of any workplace accidents.
  2. How long has safety measures been in place at Yazoo?
    • Safety has always been a priority for Yazoo so some have definitely been in place for a long time! It’s important to review them periodically and keep them up to date. We do have some safety measure that have been recently put into place, such as new mandrel carrying procedures and forklift attachments.
  3. Since you have taken over, what kind of safety measures have you implemented/changed at Yazoo?
    • This was definitely a team effort, but we developed a comprehensive safety manual so that all safety policies and guidelines would be in one place and accessible to all.
  4. How often does the safety committee get together? What all is discussed in your meetings?
    • The safety committee meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month. The committee has a supervisor and representative from each department in the plant, and we have a new group of members each year. We go around the room and each committee member shares any safety concerns, successes, or ideas on behalf of their department. We also review any injuries and/or near misses that have occurred since the last meeting, and upcoming training.
  5. Are there any new safety measures that are going to be implemented in the future?
    • Safety is always evolving and we are always looking for ways to improve so there will definitely be more measures put into place in the future. We welcome feedback and suggestions from our employees anytime and during the safety committee meetings. We also complete a quarterly safety observations checklist. In this process, an employee is selected to do a thorough walk-through of the plant and provide a rating on a list of about 30 safety observations.

      

Workplace safety and proper training is critical in every workplace environment.  Whether you work in an office, a manufacturing plant, outside, or wherever your job may take you, making sure that you’re implementing workplace safety and taking proper precautions is a must… no question about it.  Workplace safety and training aims to provide the workforce with the right amount of knowledge and skills needed to perform a job safely and avoid creating hazards that could potentially place yourself and others at risk.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of workers injured have been on the job less than a year.  The reason given is lack of safety information provided by the employer.  For all Yazoo employees, safety begins from the very beginning.

On an employee’s first day, they are introduced to their supervisor and trainer who will be guiding them in their new position.  They spend time with HR to review safety procedures and videos, expectations, etc.  After that, they continue on to meet with their trainer, are introduced to their new coworkers and do a walk through of the department in which they will be working in.  During the walk through, safety protocols are explained on equipment such as where the start, stop and safety switches are located, pedestrian traffic and other safety facts.  They are introduced to their immediate work area to learn procedures, location of materials, etc.  Employees spend 12 to 16 weeks in a formal training program, meeting weekly with their trainer and supervisor to discuss how the training is going, their needs, improvements needed to be made and what they need from Yazoo to become a great employee.  Additionally, for new employees, Yazoo also reviews the first aid areas, accident reporting policies, evacuation plans and the list of first responders in case of emergencies.

Yazoo maintains safety measures with all employees by offering training such as lock-out/tag-out, electrical training, welding review, forklift training, fire extinguisher training, first aid and CPR, bomb threat and workplace safety equipment hazards.  With the correct workplace safety training in place, Yazoo has been able to ensure safety among all employees and departments as well as maintaining efficiency to manufacture high-quality paper tubes and cores.

                    

When you think of paper tubes, typically, you think of mailing, shipping, protection tubes, etc.  But rarely would you ever think that you would find paper tubes used on the runaway as a part of a dress design!

Art Center Sarasota (formerly known as the Sarasota Art Association) began in 1926 by Marcia Rader, Art Supervisor for the Sarasota County Schools.  According to the ACS, “the original mission was not only to promote the visual arts in the Sarasota area but to encourage young people in particular to pursue their interest in the arts.”

Today, the Art Center Sarasota is a flourishing establishment for hundreds of many local artists.  The center isn’t just for adults.   It also has a rapidly growing youth program for kids ages 6-16, where they are offered camps and classes to explore their creative expressions and skills.  With the center continuously growing, there is a need for more space which created events to help offset the cost.

In April 2019, Yazoo became a corporate sponsor of Art Center Sarasota’s Beaux Arts Ball and Iconcept Runway Show.  This extravagant and heavily attended show featured selected artists and designers that are challenged each year to use their imagination and creativity to create “fabric” from unconventional materials that are not commonly used with clothing design.  Eric Cross, GM of Home Resource, was the genius designer behind the fabulous look of Charmian Noel, wife of Yazoo’s Chairman, Earl Noel, Jr.  Cross’ design featured an array of Yazoo’s orange paper tubes, placed strategically onto a white dress for stand-out, visual effects.

All proceeds raised during the event will be used to help enlarge and renovate the current building to accommodate more class space, allowing adult and youth programs to operate simultaneously, add more galleries, and install a gift shop and café.

    

We are pleased to announce the recent hiring of Mark Staub to the position of Order Prep at our Hanover Distribution Center. For 8 years, Mark was living in the Pittsburgh area and attended Robert Morris University for Sports Management and eventually found his way back to the area.  Mark comes to us from a local headwear manufacturer, where he was a distinguished Shipping Associate, prepping finished orders to be shipped to customers and making sure his department maintained a high-level of customer service.

In his new role of Order Prep at Yazoo, Mark prepares customer orders to be pushed through to production.  He checks rates, figures out how the order will ship, prints packaging labels, prints the customer specification sheet to attach to the order and then sends the order through to the plant.  He also enters job orders for stock replenishment.   What drew him to apply at Yazoo was his neighbor, who also is a Yazoo employee, was very enthusiastic about working here and encouraged him to apply.  Mark said “I feel like if a person is really trying to get you to work where he/she is, then there is a pretty good reason to also want to work there.”

When asked what he likes most about Yazoo, he replied “I genuinely do enjoy the people I work with and who I work for. While I do get busy quite often, what I like most is that when I clock out, I’m done.  I’m fortunate enough to say that my work ‘doesn’t follow me home.’  The pay is also super sweet – the best in the area, by far!”  In his spare time, you can find Mark chasing around his three kids, spending time with his wife, playing the card game called Pitch and going to see a good movie in theaters.

Welcome to the team, Mark – We’re excited to watch you grow with our company!

    

Finding a job you like is hard, but finding a company that treats you right is even harder to find. Luckily, the employees at Yazoo would say neither of those are hard to find when working here.  Our employees are treated like family and given the opportunity to advance in their career.

Meet Neil Kelley, who was recently promoted to 2nd shift Winding Lead.  Before his journey to Yazoo Mills five years ago, Neil was involved in the restaurant business as a manager as well as being self-employed with running his own landscaping business.

Neil’s first position he held at Yazoo was a Winder Operator. Within two years of working for the company, he moved up to a trainer then a floater and is now enjoying his promotion as a lead person on 2nd shift.  Additionally, he cross trained in our Shipping and Recut Departments.  In his current role, he trains other employees, makes sure that all work orders are manufactured in a timely manner and are correct, makes sure that employees are well-trained on how to complete the jobs, ensures that communication is being held in the Winding Department, and is always lending a helping hand when needed – whether that’s running a machine, helping out in Shipping, bailing waste, or giving breaks.

When asked what he likes best about working at Yazoo, he couldn’t just pick one thing. Neil said “Yazoo has a great work environment – it’s fast paced and always keeps me moving.  The company recognizes hard workers and is willing to invest in them.”  He continued to rave about how Yazoo is willing to take advice on how to continue bettering the company as well as investing a lot of money in training its employees.

In his spare time, you’ll find him spending time with his family as his kids mean the world to him. Being in the outdoors gives him great enjoyment, whether that’s hunting, fishing, or hiking – he loves doing it all.  Additionally, he enjoys occasional yard work as well as working around the house on little projects – he gets great enjoyment out of that.  Congrats on your promotion, Neil – you’ve worked hard for it!

    

A company that promotes within is a hard company to come by.  At Yazoo Mills, we give every employee the opportunity to apply for any open positions we have throughout the company.  We are proud to promote within and are proud of our employees for continuously improving their skills and leadership that lead them into their next role with our company.

Meet Rob Boone.  Rob started his career at Yazoo Mills 11 years ago as a dayshift Winding Operator and quickly found himself in a floater position in our Winding Department.  Throughout the years, Rob has proved that his work ethic, training, and knowledge of our company, products, and employees is his priority and continues to find ways to improve the operations at Yazoo Mills.

Recently, Rob accepted a Lead position at our Hanover Distribution Center located in Hanover, PA.  Within the new role, he is scheduling, checking products and gathering materials needed to help make sure the work is flowing smoothly.  What he likes most about working at Yazoo is “the challenges of troubleshooting issues and getting to know my coworkers better.”  In his spare time, you can find Rob spending time with his family, camping, enjoying the outdoors and taking trips to the shooting range.  Congrats on your well-deserved promotion, Rob!

“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference.  It’s never about the role.  Always about the goal.” – Unknown