Safe work practices influence family traditions

Last revised: May 18, 2023

Throughout International Paper’s 125-year history, many generations of fathers and mothers have made safety their top priority. They learned and practiced safety leadership skills so they could return home to their family and pass those skills on to their sons and daughters for the day they would become a part of the IP family.

IP’s Wooster Box Plant, located in Wooster, Ohio, recently brought together employees who served 25 years or more with IP, both retired and still working. They showed off the numerous safety transformations the plant has undergone since many of them retired, such as modern, new equipment like the state of the art, 400 bpm, high speed, EVOL Flexo. 

As the retirees marveled at the updates, a few fathers took the opportunity to walk around the plant with their sons who currently work at the plant. Tom Gowins, retired, and his son Rodney Gowins, EVOL operator, have a combined 82 years of IP experience between them. Another father and son duo, Jim and Cliff Butler, have 79 years of IP experience. They were able to walk the plant and discuss their experience working on the corrugator.

All the retirees were blown away by the technology and transformation the plant has undergone that now aid in keeping their adult children safe while they continue the tradition of creating what’s next at IP.
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