Photo of Historic New Oxford Train Station

At Yazoo, we are proud to support the communities in which we operate, including the landmark treasures like New Oxford Train Station Museum. As part of the “All Aboard!” fundraiser, conducted by the New Oxford Area Historical Society, our contribution helped to purchase the land to keep the station in its original place. In recognition of the support received from this campaign, the NOAHS organized a plaque unveiling celebration as part of the premiere event in their “Resume in 22” schedule of programs. “Resume in 22” is the NOAHS organization’s efforts to restart, rebuild, and once again move forward with curated programs that celebrate the history and heritage of New Oxford and its neighboring communities. The society, in conjunction with the Borough of New Oxford, has undertaken a community campaign to raise funds to purchase the Borough’s beloved history railroad property.

In a kind gesture by the incredible volunteers who help support and give guided tours of the train station, they invited us on a private tour of the Train Station. We were taken on a journey through stories from the train station’s historical past as a passenger station built for the Western Maryland Railroad in 1892, and how crews would do their jobs and signal each other with whistles. We also learned about items like the original desk, ticket windows, phones, waiting rooms, whistles, lamps and lights, antique toys, operating model trains, and equipment used on the local and national lines.

Yazoo Mills has been a proud supporter of many fundraising events in New Oxford for many years. We recognize the importance the historic train station is to the community, which is why we donated $1,000 to the All Aboard! campaign. With our contribution, as well as many other local companies, the campaign was able to reach its goal of $40,000 in order to purchase the land which preserves the train station. We are proud to support the campaign and excited to watch them continue to preserve the train station.

If you find yourself in the New Oxford, PA area, be sure to plan a visit to see the New Oxford Train Station!

Here are a few more photos from our visit:

Yazoo Mills in Hanover, PA  Yazoo Mills 120th Commemorative Horizontal Logo

Strength, Reliability, and Future Growth

Yazoo Mills, Inc., America’s largest family-owned and operated manufacturers of paper tubes and cores, is proud to reach its historical mark of 120 years in business and continued growth.

What began as a yarn and textile mill in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1902, the company has grown to become the largest privately owned paper tube and core manufacturer in the country. In its early years, Yazoo produced its own cores to wind rope and twine. After a move to New York in 1928, Hanover in 1936, and a change to ownership in 1961, Yazoo dedicated all manufacturing to the paper tube and core industry. To this day, Yazoo continues to manufacture 100% recycled products and is the supplier of choice for a wide range of industries, ranging from tapes, labels and flexible packaging, to plastics, papers, films, foams, wires, reels, and more.

In our 120th year, the company continues to grow with the latest expansion of its 2nd plant in Hanover, PA. Completed in spring of 2022, the 60,000 SF of additional manufacturing and warehouse space in response to the growing demand for the company’s products and services. Yazoo Mills now operates two state-of-the-art facilities totaling 300,000 square feet. In addition, we have begun to expand its production capacity with the installation of several automated machines and increased its workforce to more than 200 employees.

Yazoo Mills is exceptionally proud to have reached this momentous milestone, and they’ve dedicated this success to their customers, partners, and all employees—past and present. Over the course of the year, we are paying homage to this unyielding support and years in business through a company hardback history book, commemorative logos, updated facility signage, events and tradeshows, and employee appreciation activities throughout the year. Yazoo Mills looks forward to continued success and many more years of offering a quality product made in the USA.

Directors - Michell, Richard, Steve, and Chris

Effective leaders are essential to any organization. Not only do they help build strong teams, they also ensure projects are performed successfully and customers’ expectations for quality and reliability are always met. They create confidence among employees and encourage a professional and positive environment. All are reflective to the leadership team here at Yazoo Mills!

As we enter our 120th year of business, we’re excited to announce four leadership team members who were promoted to Directors of their respective departments. Proven leaders with decades of experience, the leadership changes reflect a formal alignment of the team’s individual strengths to support the company’s long-term strategic plan.

Introducing our newest Directors

Michell Trish is promoted to Director of Accounting & Administration. Michell, who has been with the company for 35 years and previously served as the company’s Controller, will oversee human resources, accounting, and information technology functions of the business.

Richard Smarsh is promoted to Director of Facilities, Maintenance, & Safety. Richard, who joined our company in 2013 and previously served as Project and Facilities Manager, will direct all facility maintenance, improvement projects, new construction, and occupational health & safety programs. He will also develop key people for future growth and incorporate continuous improvement within these areas of the business.

Steve McMaster is promoted to Director of Manufacturing. Steve, a 39-year veteran who previously served as Plant Manager, will oversee all manufacturing operations for both the New Oxford and Hanover production facilities that total 300,000 square feet. He will supervise production and collaborate with department supervisors to strategize techniques in maximizing productivity and efficiency, and monitor the adequacy of supply inventories.

Chris Evans is promoted to North American Sales Director. Chris, who joined our company in 2017 and previously served as Sales Manager, oversees the sales and customer service teams to ensure customer’s goals are met and exceeded through our products and services. He will continue his responsibilities for driving and expanding business by directing the sales team as well as implementing sales strategies to maximize the use of existing data in our systems and develop new territories & markets.

Each member has played an essential role in the company’s success and growth. They are among our top-level leadership group that worked together as a team and advanced through progressively more responsible positions during their tenure. Sharing our organization’s mission and values, they look to continue with the organization’s forward-thinking vision to provide our customers with the best of the best, create an experience that builds long-lasting relationships, and direction among our nearly 200 employees.

Congratulations to Michell, Richard, Steve and Chris on your well-deserved promotions. We are grateful and proud to have you part of the Yazoo team, our 120-year journey, and we look forward to your continued leadership and drive in maintaining Yazoo Mills as the supplier of choice for years to come!

   

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Jen Warner who joins our front office staff as Yazoo’s Receptionist.

Warner has a long history of working in customer service and making sure that customers are taken care of. Her background includes working for United Airlines handling calls for travel agents and as well as their international desk. And more recently, she worked for the corporate travel industry for 25 years. During her tenure in the travel industry, she learned how to become a pro multi-tasker as it is very fast paced and lots of changes and moving parts happening.

In need of a change, Warner decided to apply at Yazoo not only because of her background in customer service but because she has always heard great things about family-owned business. She knew instantly, it would be a great fit for her. In her current role as Receptionist, she handles answering the phones and transferring them to the correct party, pricing orders accordingly by order size, price piece, etc. and handles the online stock mailing tube orders that come in through our website and various other channels.

What does she like best about working at Yazoo? “Everyone is wonderful to work with. The family atmosphere is great – you’re not treated like a number, rather a person that they get to know and appreciate. Yazoo is very gracious to their employees and I’m fortunate to work here.”

In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her husband and kids (ages 22 and 17), chasing her two English Springer Spaniel’s around, whipping up new recipes and cheering on the Denver Broncos and New York Rangers.

A few fun facts about Jen:
• Her very first flight was an economy seat from Newark, NJ to London on Virgin Atlantic
• She loves all things crime and murder mysteries
• Lived for playing softball and basketball as a kid

Welcome to the team, Jen! We are happy to have you and your cheerful personality on our team!

Sweet summertime – ahh… the season that (most) people look forward to — Sun, warm temperatures, vacations, breaks 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 materials expand 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 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 affect paper tubes and cores are imperative for end-users as they are looking for 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 of 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 a 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 the 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.