by Anna Ferraro
Continued from previous article printed in edition of The Source published on June 1, 2017.
So now you know, Hefty® – the brand of awesome slider bags, indestructible trash bags and more, lives right here in Jacksonville. Hence, when you buy Hefty® products, you’re supporting a local industry. Okay, that’s slightly cool, but boring, right? Who cares where their plastic products for food and trash are researched and developed? The Chicago Cubs do.
Amy Quigg, human resource manager at Jacksonville Reynolds proudly reported that Hefty® is the only brand that the Cubs have ever allowed to advertise on the right field scoreboard – in the history of Wrigley Field. During the 2016 World Series, the “Hefty! Hefty! Hefty!” homeruns were announcing not just the victory of the Cubs team, but a Jacksonville product and brand – across the entire nation! Now you’re interested, right? And there’s more
The story that began on Wrigley Field had an exciting ripple effect into the 2017 baseball season. Hefty® Major League Baseball party cups are now available for 25 different teams including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and of course, the Chicago Cubs. Check it out on www.hefty.com. All that to say – Jacksonville, home of the Hefty® brand? Not bad.
Second only to Passavant Area Hospital, Reynolds is the leading employer in Jacksonville and surrounding small towns. The campus is massive. Railcars regularly rumble through east Jacksonville to supply the factories with the raw materials they need for their products.
For any employee that comes in, Jacksonville Reynolds offers more than a factory job with benefits – Quigg emphasized that they offer career development through their in-house training programs. In Jacksonville Reynolds, an employee can take online classes to certify their skills. Quigg shared, “We have a full-time training staff that does nothing but train our new operators … giving them formal training as soon as they get here.”
As such, Quigg stated, “By promoting from within, it gives everyone the incentive that they can move up within the company. It shows that we value our employees. By doing that, we retain the employees – a win-win for the company and the community! The employees are bettering themselves, and we are getting stronger and more educated employees.”
Quigg attributed much of Reynolds long-term success in Jacksonville to the community itself, saying, “We would not have been able to stay in Jacksonville and grow without all the people that have been able to support the industry. Because of the growth in the business, we can showcase that it’s worthwhile for our corporate office to invest here in Jacksonville. We encourage them to bring new business and new equipment here and expand.” From expanding production lines to the actual facility, any expansion benefits not just Reynolds, but Jacksonville, as well.
For all that the community has given Reynolds, Quigg leads the charge on keeping Reynolds involved in giving back to the community. She shared about past and present projects including sponsoring food drives, doing a “walk for the homeless,” giving out blessing bags, coordinating blood drives and more. She emphasized that they’re working on getting more involved in schools, as well, sharing that they recently partnered with Illinois College by having a research group class come out and build research projects around organizational communication. Quigg said, “Because we’re so big, that allows us to work with the students.”
After over five years of working in human resources at Reynolds, Quigg shared that her original attraction to the corporation at their location here in Jacksonville stemmed from impressive history and their “long-term stability.” She chuckled, “We have pretty good job security … everybody needs trash bags.”
Even John Cena agrees with that. The pro-wrestler, rapper, actor and reality TV show host is backing up the brand like no one else in his catchy commercials where he brings back the iconic “Hefty! Hefty! Hefty!” chant for Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bag campaign (www.hefty.com). With the strength and humor intrinsic to the Hefty® brand, Cena is taking Hefty® brand recognition to a whole new level. Wrigley Field, the major baseball leagues, and John Cena, too? Hefty® is doing something right.
Quigg’s closing thoughts on this organization here in Jacksonville? “Everybody should know that this is a great company. We’ve got awesome automation. It’s a fantastic place to work – a place of great career opportunities for so many people.” That’s Hefty®. But now you know, it’s not just Hefty® – it’s Jacksonville – the proud home of the Hefty® brand.