Board Converting News, April 25, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years April 25, 2022 VOL. 38, NO. 17

FBA Panelists Offer Solutions To Industry’s Labor Challenges BY LEN PRAZYCH The issue of labor and specifically, hiring and retaining employees to work in the corrugated industry, continues to be the primary issue fac- ing today’s independent and integrated box makers alike. Appropriate- ly, the topic was addressed head-on during the first general session of FBA’s 2022 Annual Meeting at The Montage in Laguna Beach, Califor- nia, from April 10-12.

Pratt Industries To Open New Box Plant In Texas

Conyers, Georgia based Pratt Industries an- nounced that it will open a new box plant and shipping center in the Southwest Dallas County community of Cedar Hill, Texas. The company has leased one-million-square-feet of industrial space in a new business park on U.S. Highway 67 and plans to create 150 jobs at the new regional “manufacturing and inno- vation center.” “We’re very honored to be in Cedar Hill and we’re committed to the great state of Tex- as,” said Anthony Pratt, Executive Chairman of Pratt Industries. “In fact, this is our fifth box factory here. We have long prided ourselves on the fact that we employ 11,000 Americans in well-paying, green-collar manufacturing jobs and we have now invested in America to the value of $10 billion. Cedar Hill will be our 71st factory in the United States.” Pratt Industries is one of the country’s larg- est corrugated packaging manufacturers and the world’s largest, privately held producer of recycled container board. The company plans to invest more than $200 million in equip- ment, inventory and building improvements for the new plant.

Before introducing the panelists who would share their challenges — and solutions — to the problem of hiring and retaining employees, FBA Vice President Rachel Kenyon shared new data indicating employment growth of 430,000 jobs in March 2022 while unemployment declined by 6.3 percent. The high unemployment numbers during the pandemic continued to shrink. The manufacturing sector, however, while adding 38,000 jobs in March, is competing for jobs with companies in the B2B, retail, hospitality and professional services sectors. “We thought we had a lot of potential employees coming back to manufacturing, but that is not the case,” said Kenyon. “Those employ- ees are taking jobs in other sectors or deciding not to get back into the workforce at all. Additionally, many blue collar workers are making the leap to other jobs, specifically in the tech industry, because they had time during the pandemic to get training and credentials. Immigration CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 From left, Charles Malo of Cascades, Tim Bergwall of Greif and Bob McIl- vane of The Royal Group sat on a panel during the first general session of FBA’s 2022 Annual Meeting to share their challenges and solutions to the corrugated industry’s labor problems.



6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x Rand-Whitney Breaks Ground On New Packaging Plant In MA Hodges Welcomed Into ICPF’s Circle Of Distinguished Leaders Bay Cities’ Tucker Inducted Into AICC Hall Of Fame 34 Vanguard Companies Opens St. Louis Design & Sales Center

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AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00

West Coast U.S. Average

The Price is Right

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

More box makers and brokers are relying on the containerboard pricing in Board Converting News to negotiate their contracts with end users.

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.


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April 25, 2022

Pratt Industries To Open (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

Core Competency

According to local media reports, Pratt Industries is working with the city and Cedar Hill schools on an em- ployee training and job development program. “This joint collaboration with Cedar Hill and the school district is a great opportunity for us to encourage and in- vest in the community’s young talent and to help them find meaningful employment and long term financial stability,” said Pratt’s Division President Mike Tansey. Hillwood, the project’s developer, announced last sum- mer its plans for the 180-acre industrial park in which Pratt Industries will operate. The first phase includes a 1.1 million- square-foot building and a 225,000-square-foot building. The entire business park is expected to generate more than $200 million in capital investment and create hun- dreds of jobs in Cedar Hill. “The city’s partnership with Hillwood is already bearing fruit for our community through significant capital invest- ment and well-paying green-collar jobs,” said Mayor Ste- phen Mason. “The Cedar Hill lease is one of the largest North Texas industrial transactions so far in 2022.” Pratt Industries is the second corrugated company to announce plans this year for a major new facility in the Dallas area. In February, Dallas-based McKinley Packaging said it will spend more than $35 million to build a new box plant in Lancaster. The project add 125 jobs at the new plant scheduled to be completed at the end of this year.

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Rand-Whitney Breaks Ground On New Packaging Plant In MA

Rand-Whitney officials were joined by business leaders, Town of Boylston (MA) officials and their design-build- er, PROCON, for the groundbreaking ceremony of its 384,000-square foot packaging facility in Boylston, Mas- sachusetts. The facility represents the latest investment by Rand-Whitney in equipment and capacity to meet the significant growth in demand for packaging that was ac- celerated by the COVID pandemic. When fully operational in April 2023, the new packaging facility will have the po- tential to manufacture 300 million boxes annually. Operating in Massachusetts since 1938, Rand-Whit- ney chose to build the facility in Boylston due to its prox- imity to major transportation corridors and access to a skilled workforce. The state-of-the-art sustainable facility

will feature energy efficiencies and the industry’s most efficient robotics and automation equipment. A leader in environmental responsibility for the packing industry, Rand-Whitney’s vertical integration will allow the facility to manufacture packaging that uses a very high percentage

of post-consumer waste, using 100 percent post-consumer waste linerboard produced in the company’s mill in Connecticut. “We are excited to break ground on the construction of what will be a world class facility to help us meet the fast-growing de- mand for packaging,” said Nick Smith, Presi- dent and CEO of Rand-Whitney. “Boylston is a great location with an amazing work force, and we are happy to continue to invest in manufacturing in Massachusetts where it all began for us some 75 years ago.” Rand-Whitney is one of several compa- nies owned by New England Patriots’ Owner Robert Kraft and is the largest independent corrugated packaging manufacturer in New England with areas of expertise in cost-sav- ing package re-engineering and custom lean manufacturing programs. The company also produces and ships corrugated displays, shipping containers and folding cartons to a variety of industrial and consumer end-us- ers. The Boylston facility is their fourth col- laboration with PROCON, who previously partnered with them on facilities in Worces- ter, MA, Dover, NH, and Pawtucket, RI. “This is our fourth and largest project working with PROCON and it has been a great experience”, said Smith. “They are an amazing partner, and we have full confi- dence our collaboration will once again lead to the creation of an incredible facility that we can all be proud of.” For over 75 years, Rand-Whitney has been an independent, privately-owned company with a family values approach. As a member of the Kraft Group, Rand-Whitney prides it- self on delivering the highest levels of quality and service to all business partners.


April 25, 2022

40 ft of paper travel from preheater to hot plates 3 seconds of heat, glue and bonding 1 chance to get it right! the ZONE

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Chicago Electric offers 10 technology solutions to control ‘the Zone’ CORRUGATOR Sectoral preheating plate

Our sectoral preheating plates provide direct heat by means of a double steam circuit, allowing for efficient heating in hard-to-access locations, as well as to act as a steam shower to open the paper’s fibre, making it receptive to absorbing the heat and the glue.

This translates into increased speed and improved quality of the cardboard sheet finish.

The system’s main advantages are as follows:

• The plate may only be used to heat, only to humidify, or both options at the same time. • The plate is sectored, which allows for applying humidity to the sections. • It provides temperature in previously inaccessible locations and near the location needed. • It compensates the loss of temperature dissipated due to distance, speed or limitations of the exiting preheaters. • Quick transferring of heat to the paper. • The combination of the hot plate and steam shower allows for providing heat even to the hardest papers to heat. • Does not dry out the paper. • Possibility of operating as a humidifier and pre-conditioner. • Maintains and improves the fibre’s elasticity. • Acts according to the operator’s needs. • Facilitates the paper’s hygroscopy to absorb the glue and improve rubberising.


1. Wrap Arm - Position & Temperature 2. Preheater Direct Drive


3. Steam Plate 4. Contact Roll 5. Glue Machine Direct Drive Touch Productivity Issue—Glue Unit Many glue units run with a rider roll or a guiding bar system. The rider roll with paper gap allows a precise glue application, but requires frequent Contact Roll


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calibrations and settings. Bar systems avoid this, but compensate this with the risk of exces- sive glue application. The system contains many wearing parts. Solution The contact roll combines the ad antage of both systems and ensures minimum contact between board and applicator roll. The system uses small pneumatic cylinders in order to achieve a “soft touch.”

6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding




Roller Shoe


9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire w orking width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe

Plate vity Issue—Poor Heat Control l hotplates are slow to react to pressure due to high steam volume and massive y also have high heat radiation and heat profile. Worn plates can damage crease edge crush.

Thin-Wall Hot Plates

t by peripheral drilled hot plates. anufactured out of special wear and nt steel, through which a continuous is drilled, with one inlet and one outlet. ecured by a massive steel frame.

ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow n higher plate surface temperature


Hodges Welcomed Into ICPF’s Circle Of Distinguished Leaders On Monday, April 11, during FBA’s 2022 Spring Meeting at The Montage in Laguna Beach, California, Charles E. Hodges, President and COO of Hood Container Corpo- ration, was inducted as the 26th member of the Interna- tional Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s Circle of Dis-

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month December 2021



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

34.195 34.916


8.549 8.729


Industry Total

Year-to Date

December 2021



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

416.338 406.776


8.294 8.071


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2021 2020

2.7372 2.7727


33.8477 33.0739


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Dec. Nov.

2.256 2.203


3.3 3.3


tinguished Leaders, which honors exceptional visionaries whose energy and talent have moved the industry for- ward. These leaders are recognized for demonstrating a strong commitment to the continuing success of the glob- al corrugated packaging industry. Hodges was nominat- ed for induction by ICPF Board members and corrugated packaging firms that made donations in his name.

Shipping Days




2021 2020

20 20

251 252

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association

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April 25, 2022

PPC To Host 5-Day Boot Camp, Drupa-Inspired Trade Show In MA This June, the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) will host PPC Week, a five-day event filled with folding carton insights and education. Featuring the association’s sig- nature Folding Carton Boot Camp along with a Drupa-in- spired trade show in Springfield, Massachusetts, the event will give paperboard packaging professionals updates on the latest tools and technology in the industry. The “boxa- palooza” will commence with Boot Camp on June 6-7 and will continue with the trade show, featuring supplier case studies, on June 8-10. All programs and trade shows will be held at MGM Springfield. Folding Carton Boot Camp, PPC’s signature “Carton 101” training for industry newcomers, will kick off PPC Week, covering topics such as structural design and work- flow, inks and coating, rotary coating, laminating, digital diecutting, gluing and adhesives, rigid box manufacturing, and more. Instructors will include Judy Arvan of Graphic Packaging International; Laura Brodie of Burt Rigid Box; Eric Frank of Koenig & Bauer; Quinn Garber of River Val- ley Paper Company; Gayle Harrop of Tamarack Products; Doug Herr of Bobst North America; Harold Leete of HP, Inc; J Maggio of Henkel Corporation; Travis Moellers of IM- PACT Converting & System Solutions; Bill Rice of Heidel- berg; Steve Rote of Metsä Board Americas Corporation;

Beau Snider of Wikoff Color Corporation; Susie Stitzel of Esko; and PPC’s president, Ben Markens. Next, PPC will host a three-day Drupa-inspired event. The dynamic forum will include a mini trade show featur- ing PPC supplier members who will share the latest tools and technologies as well as comprehensive case stud- ies. Keynote speakers will include John Fraro, director of Deli, Bakery, and Food Service at Big Y World Class Mar- ket who will offer a retailer buyer’s perspective; Dr. Steve Sobel, motivational speaker who will inspire attendees to be their best selves; and Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners, LLC, who will present a full overview of short-run and digital printing trends. The event will also feature a townhall-style discussion of best practices in folding car- ton converting operations facilitated by PPC Board Chair, Brian Hunt of Southern Champion Tray. “PPC Week is an excellent opportunity for both industry newcomers and seasoned professionals to gain technical savvy and grow their skills,” said Ben Markens, PPC pres- ident. “With Drupa postponed until 2024, PPC is excited to recreate the experience, on a small scale, for our mem- bers—brats and beers included!” In addition to other engaging social events, attendees will have dinner on center court of the national Basketball Hall of Fame. Supplier members that would like to partic- ipate in the trade show should sign up soon, as space is limited. To learn more and to register, visit the PPC Week page at .

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April 25, 2022

Bay Cities’ Tucker Inducted Into AICC Hall Of Fame

Greg Tucker, Chairman and CEO of Pico Rivera, California based Bay Cit- ies, an innovative leader and true advocate for the corrugated industry, was inducted as the newest member of AICC’s Hall of Fame during the Association’s 2022 Spring Meeting on Friday, April 8, in Palm Desert, Cal-

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ifornia. A 10-minute video outlining Tucker’s 41-year career in the industry highlighted his many accomplishments. Comments by co-workers, friends and colleagues provided poignant and humorous anecdotes. “Greg Tucker is a most deserving Hall of Fame honoree,” said AICC President Mike D’Angelo. His entire career is filled with leadership and service for AICC, FBA, ICPF, and the Foundation for Packaging Education. He has helped countless individuals in the industry as well. Everyone has a Greg Tucker story.” Described by others as a “truly unique individual” and a talented lead- er with a “fearless, relentless authentic vision,” Tucker got his start in the corrugated industry on a dare. “I began my career by daring to work with a gentleman named Bill Hanan, who owned Bay Cities. I looked at him as a mentor and another father and I think he looked at me as his illegitimate child.” After years as Bay Cities’ leading salesperson Tucker was named president of the company in 1995 and when Hanan passed away, Tucker assumed the role of chairman. “There were opportunities in graphics and in building displays, as well the opportunity to work in a retail environment, so we bought a one-color screen printer and learned how to print process on one color,” said Tucker. “It was frightening and it was slow but we learned how to do it. It was ‘bap- tism by fire’ moving a brown box company that was predominantly making large furniture boxes into the graphic world and into building displays.” Tucker also managed the transition of Bay Cities into a full ESOP (Em- ployee Owned Stock Program) company, fulfilling his vision of wanting everyone to better themselves, to improve themselves and to constantly CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 Greg Tucker, holding plaque, thanked his family for their support in his accep- tance speech. From left, Isaac Parra, Natalie Tucker, Bette Tucker, Jasmine Par- ra, Ashley Tucker and Blake Fierro



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Tucker Inducted (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)

to take off financially, educationally, growth-wise and ca- reer-wise. I want to help people be the best versions of themselves that they can be.” His “people” say that he achieves his goal by challeng- ing norms and popular beliefs; he will drive you very hard because he wants you to continuously learn and he brings a special brand of humor to get his point across. He sur- rounds himself with and nurtures talent and creativity, and ultimately, he regards his people with the utmost respect. It may be the reason that people want to work with him and for him. “When I first started with Bay Cities I believe we had maybe 50 employees,” said Tucker. “We grew by 10 per- cent every year and now we’re at 230 people.” Added D’Angelo, “Greg’s been a great spokesman for our industry in that he’s been on several regional, nation- al and international stages. He’s demonstrated a commit- ment and dedication to AICC and FBA for decades. He’s also been supportive of ICPF and contributed to the bet- terment of printing schools like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.” “I’d first like to thank my family, you’ve allowed me to gallivant all over the country,” said Tucker in his “accep- tance speech.” Thank you to my employees, who allow me to do what I do. You’ve empowered me to take a vacation for 41 years. It’s a great honor to be a hall of famer because I’m now one of several “doubles” in that my “illegitimate fa- ther” Bill Hanan is a Hall of Famer, as well. Thank you again and always remember this: Happiness is a quality box!”

learn; he wants to take everybody to the next level; what drives him is his desire to make sure that he’s supporting the people who work for him; he’s passionate about devel- oping people. One commenter said, “Greg goes out of his

way to give of himself. He empowers you to live up to the expectation you didn’t even have for yourself.” “They don’t work for me, I work for them,” said Tucker of his employees. My goal is to provide a runway for them AICC Chairman Gene Marino presented Greg Tucker with a plaque recognizing him as the newest member of AICC’s Hall of Fame. Bay Cities employees dressed Tucker in a specially designed floral corrugated vest and hat.

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April 25, 2022

AICC Independents’ Cup Tournament Nets $40K For Packaging Education During the AICC 2022 Spring Meeting, 208 members came together for the 8th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament. Through sponsorships and on- site donations, more than $40,000 was raised to support the Foundation for Packaging Education, which supports the development and distribution of employee education and training resources for workers in the corrugated, fold- ing carton, rigid box, and related supply chain industries. “Thank you so much for your generous donations to the Foundation For Packaging Education. We truly appreciate your investment in growing the educational and training needs of our association,” said Foundation Chairman Jay Carman, President and CEO, Standfast Group. “Because of your generous support, the Foundation will be able to

Jeff Pallini of Fosber attempts to tap in a ‘gimme’ three feet away from his ball as the rest of his foursome implore him to increase his odds of draining the putt by standing closer.

develop even more online courses, webinars and in-person seminars to further develop your workforce” Golfers played on the Palm and Valley Courses at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Golf Club, designed by acclaimed architect Ted Robinson Sr., and built in the mid-1980s. Though participants were playing in nearly 100-degree heat, spirits remained high and everyone came off the courses smiling. The expected contribution to the Founda- tion was doubled through donations made on the golf course. One of the generous donations was made by Automated Conveyor Systems (ACS) and Independent II. ACS Chairman & CEO Mi- chael Shenigo, said, “Automated Conveyor Systems has been an active member of AICC for over 40 years. The benefits of the part- nership bringing both the manufacturers and suppliers together have driven strong results through our organization. The opportunity to give back to AICC was a no brainer in respect to AICC’s Packaging School. ”The willingness of AICC members to sup- port the work of the Foundation and AICC education programming is always gratifying to see. The spontaneity of the giving during the heat of battle on the golf course was real- ly something,” said AICC President Mike D’An- gelo, who congratulated the winners:


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AICC Independents’ Cup (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)

2nd Place Tim Connell, AG Stacker Tom Murphy, Reliable Container Joe Morelli, Huston Patterson Printers Gene Marino, Akers Packaging 3rd Place Gene Tyler, Blackhawk Corrugated Jack Fulton, PRINTRON Philip Vervloesem, OMP Robert Vaenerberg, Metsa Board Americas Closest to the Pin #6 Brant Dixon, AG Stacker #8 Tony Estephan, Blackhawk Corrugated #12 Andrew Bell, Packaging Express #15 Doug Wertheimer, Wertheimer Box

2nd Place Jim Trousdale, Lewisburg Printing Co. Tony Stewart, Chief Container Tim Rommel, Goepfert Corey Barnard, Corrugated Supplies 3rd Place Billy Kurtz, Independence Corrugated Lucas Young, Schwarz Partners Andrew Akers, Akers Packaging Jeff Dietz, Kolbus America Closest to the Pin #3 Garrett Bradley, American Box

#8 Larry Hudson, Jamestown Container #12 Billy Kurtz, Independence Corrugated #17 Blake Fierro, Bay Cities Longest Putt #18 Frank Adams, Atlantic Pkg. Products (York Container)

Longest Putt #18 Bryan Rabb, CL Rabb

Funding The Foundation Al Hoodwin, CEO of Michigan City Paper Box Co., and an inaugural donor to the Foundation, said, “We are very excited about the funds raised for our Foundation for Pack- aging Education by AICC’s 8th Annual Independent Cup Golf Tournament. This yearly event will be a great way to CONTINUED ON PAGE 20


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April 25, 2022

AICC Independents’ Cup (CONT’D FROM PAGE 18)

continue to fund our Foundation and ensure that the most up-to-date and relevant training content is available for our employees on our online training platform. The Board of the Foundation for Packaging Education is committed to

ensuring our Foundation continues to grow and has decid- ed to match the funds raised by the annual golf event. All participants in the golf tournament should feel great about their ‘enhanced’ contribution to our Foundation.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 AICC Vice Chair Jana Harris of Harris Packaging presented a ceremonial check to Foundation Chair Jay Carman of Stand- fast Packaging Group.


April 25, 2022

AICC Celebrates Member Milestones, Safety Achievements At Meeting

AICC Independents’ Cup (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)

Golf sponsors included Major Sponsor Domtar Packag- ing, Schwarz Partners, Bobst, BHS Corrugated, Bradford Company, Equipment Finance Corp, WestRock, Fosber, BCM Inks, AG Stacker, Litho Press, Bay Cities, Lewisburg Printing Co./Huston Patterson, Poteet Printing Systems, Flint Group, Kolbus America, Isowa, Akers Packaging, Alli- ance Machine, American Corrugated Machine, Blackhawk Corrugated, BW Papersystems, EMBA, EAM-Mosca, Haire Group, Jamestown Container, JB Machinery, Kao Collins, McLean Packaging, Metsa Group, Pamarco, Printron, Roo- sevelt Paper, Quantum Ink, Standfast Group, Standard Printing Co., SUN Automation, and Wasatch Container. The Foundation for Packaging Education will hold its next fund-raising event at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, November 8-10, 2022. Visit for more information.

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, and its members celebrated significant milestones and safety Representatives of four AICC member companies that cele- brated significant milestones were recognized during the As- sociation’s 2022 Spring Meeting.

achievements during the 2022 Spring Meet- ing at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort from April 6-8 in Palm Desert, California. Through the Member Milestone program, AICC recognizes member companies that in the current calendar year are celebrating sig- nificant anniversaries for years of continuous operation. In 2022 AICC celebrated the fol- lowing achievements with its members: • 70th Anniversary Valco Melton • 60th Anniversary Mark/Trèce, Inc. • 50th Anniversary SMC Packaging Group • 40th Anniversary Philpac To see the stories of these member com- panies and past celebrations, visit AICC’s website at . Safe Shop Awards The annual Independent Safe Shop Awards, recognizes AICC Member Compa- nies for outstanding performance in plant safety over the last year. At the 2022 Spring Meeting, AICC recognized members with the OSHA Recordable Incident Rate of less than 2.2 and the OSHA Lost Work Days Incident Rate of 0 (zero). The 2022 recipients are: Akers Packaging Solutions, Oreana, IL; Ak- ers Hoosier Container, Richmond, IN; Akers Webster West Packaging, Evansville, IN; Box- Board Products, Greensboro, NC; Buckeye Boxes Inc., Columbus, OH; Compass Packag- ing, Mantua, OH; Lawrence Paper Co., Amer- ican Packaging Division, South Hutchinson, KS; Unicorr Packaging Group, North Haven, CT; and Vermont Container, Bennington, VT The awards and recognition earned by all of these AICC members is a testament to their strength and the exceptional nature of the in- dependent packaging industry. AICC is proud to honor them.


April 25, 2022

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FBA Panelists (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)

Bergwall: We’re a conglomerate with mills, converting sites and recycling sites. We’re now starting to get more applicants, so hiring is improving a little but it is still down significantly and it’s not just among the hourly workforce, it’s across the board. For example, right now we’re see- ing a big gap in IT but overall, I am encouraged by seeing more applicants. Kenyon : Charles, you have facilities in both Canada and the U.S. Do you see any differences in hiring across the border and is there a difference between the U.S. and Ca- nadian workforce. Are they looking for different things? Malo : There are more things that are alike than different. We are also having difficulty in finding and attracting em- ployees. We’ve spent so many years in trying to under- stand what our customers are looking for, but now I think we have to understand what our employees are looking for. That is probably going to make a difference in the fu- ture when it comes to hiring and retaining people. Kenyon : As you’re looking for employees, what do you see as some of the challenges in hiring them? Malo : I see that employees are looking for a good work/ life balance. The environmental issue is also important for people. They want to know where they are working and what our company’s purpose is. And of course, they want to know what’s in it for them. We’re having success in mak- ing sure that locally, we getting our team involved in find- ing the right people for our organization.

has also declined, meaning that people who are coming into the country looking for manufacturing jobs are not ar- riving in the numbers they once were.” Kenyon introduced three executives from FBA member companies — Charles Malo, President and COO of Cas- cades; Tim Bergwall, Division President of Paper Packag- ing at Greif; and Bob McIlvane, President at CEO at The Royal Group — to discuss their challenges and solutions to the serious labor issue facing the corrugated industry. Kenyon : I’m going to ask our three panelists what the la- bor environment looks like for them. Bob, you have a lot of manufacturing facilities and several in the Chicago area, which is a big hub. What are you seeing there? McIlvane : For us, like many others, hiring people contin- ues to be a big issue across the board. The salary gap between what the manufacturing industry is paying versus what the service industry is paying continues to shrink and we as manufacturers can only afford to pay so much. Over the last decades, we’ve been stagnant and the demand for our product has been flat but a lot of other industries have experienced the opposite. They now have the infrastructure and processes in place to hire, train and retain employees and we haven’t had a lot of that in the past few years. As an industry, I think we’re behind in building the infrastructure to retain our employees.


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April 25, 2022

FBA Panelists (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

work off-shifts that are giving us problems. Like most of us in the room, demand is high for our products and that capacity is in our second and third shifts. We’ve come up with what we think are creative solutions for this problem. Kenyon : We’ve identified the issues and the challenges in trying to attract people to our industry and keep them. What are the solutions? McIlvane: We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with hiring fairs. The hiring processes are still there but at a hiring fair, they can all be done at the same time. You can interview the person, have them fill out an applica- tion, make an appointment at the medical center and even choose a hire date. The applicant doesn’t have to do all the back and forth. We used social media, web sites and flyers and had them distributed throughout the community in churches and restaurants and bulletin boards to get the word out about our hiring fair. About 60 people showed up. We could then process the applicants in a more efficient way and cut down on some of the time involved in interviewing and hiring. Kenyon : And where are you holding these job fairs? Are they at the plant or somewhere else? McIlvane : Our most recent one was at our plant. We brought in food trucks and entertainment, put banners up and really made a big deal out of it. It was successful. Bergwall : We have longer term plans to work on some CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

Kenyon : Tim, have you found any commonalities in your company? Bergwall : I feel that if we can get people in the door, we can win them over with our culture and we can keep them there. When we dug in to see why we weren’t hiring more people, we realized that our application process was just too difficult. We were asking hourly folks to go to our web site and sign on with a password and stay in touch with their computer, as opposed to their Smartphones. So we’ve revamped the application process for speed and ease. They can now do most everything over their Smart- phones. McIlvane : Similar situation. It’s been very difficult to find

hourly employees who are willing to go through the hiring process to the very end, partly because we make the process too difficult, even some of the simple things, like re- turning phone calls, showing up for appointments, and going to medical appointments. We have about five or

Bob McIlvane

six steps a potential employee has to go through and the chances of them completing all of them is very low right now. We see that across all of our plants. Our issue is more with hourly personnel. We can find people to work our first shifts, but it’s finding people to

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FBA Panelists (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

well in the interview, we offer them a position right then on site, pending some testing. The applicant comes away from the hiring fair knowing they have a job. Kenyon : Yes, you want to continue to have a conversation with them about your company as they are onboarded. Bob, can you explain what happened at The Royal Group that was unexpected? McIlvane : We were making the assumption that when peo- ple come to work for us that they are prepared to work in a box plant. They may have a good resume, interview well, be well-spoken and professional but when they are put on the job, we discovered they were totally unprepared to work in a box plant environment. I was astounded to learn that very few people who come to work for us even know how to read a ruler. We’ve developed a new position, Manager of Re- cruitment and Retainment, which is not so much a hiring process as it is a retaining process. If we could retain 25 percent of the people who interviewed with us, we would have enough people to work at our plant. We need people to spend time with new employees. You cannot expect a production manager, as busy as he is, to take the time to onboard them, too. We need to continue to do more to help our new employees stay and to bridge the gap. McIlvane : I agree. A lot of times people come in not tru- ly understanding what their day is going to look like. So we’re spending more time sharing with them what the job

more flexible schedules in our plants. We’re also working on having part-timers for customer service roles. What we keep coming back to is that the most important salesper- son that we have right now is the recruiter, the person or employee who can bring in new talent. We have an inter- nal “bounty program.” If someone brings in a new employ- ee and that employee stays for 90 days, the recruiting employee gets paid. Our employees have to be our new sales force for bringing in new employees. Kenyon : And it’s not necessarily about selling the industry, it’s selling your company. Malo : Yes. Like Tim has done, we need to get our employ- ees more involved in the process by providing them with

an incentive to bring new people in. But once we have a new employee, we need an “ambassador,” an exist- ing employee, to help the new peo- ple with the onboarding process. In the past year, we’ve seen new employees coming in, leaving on a break and simply not coming back to

Charles Malo

the job, which I’ve never seen before. We’ve also invested a lot in job fairs so potential hirees know exactly what they are getting into. If they don’t want to do the job we’re offering, it opens the discussion for an- other position they may be interested in. If the hiree does


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