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Education for Your People

By Jana Harris

March 20, 2023


A hot topic of 2023, thus far, has been what our industry will look like after experiencing the past two unprecedented years of growth and chaos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Board Converting News covered this topic in Len Prazych’s article, “Converter Outlook, 2023, Part 1: Shrinking Demand Is Concerning,” showcased in January. I had the privilege of being one of the contributors, along with a handful of other independent converters. The consistent theme was that we as independents in our industry not only survived but thrived, despite one challenge and obstacle after another.

The consensus regarding 2023 was it should be a good year. However, we all are feeling softening in the market and expect that to remain the trend throughout 2023. This is the same concern that AICC’s Membership and Marketing Committee recently expressed at its past meeting. AICC President Mike D’Angelo reached out to me after this meeting and shared their sentiments. He said, “There was discussion that the softening in the market that converters are feeling at this time is a great time to double down on your commitment to your most important resource—your people. You do that by getting more education in front of them.”

This was music to my ears. What a great time for us as owners and managers of our independent box companies, as well as our incredible vendors, to utilize all that AICC has to offer in education. Below are some of the resources AICC has for its members:

  • Free online education: More than 100 courses are offered online for all of our employees. There is training that supports all aspects of your business—production, sales, service, design, finance departments, human resources, and leadership training, to name a few. Currently, 18 online courses are offered in Spanish, with the commitment from AICC to continue translating more courses on a consistent basis.
  • All Access Pass: More than 150 industry-specific live and prerecorded webinars and One Point Lessons allow employees to get quick tips and tools to enhance their skills. The one-time fee is minimal compared with the value your company will receive.
  • AICC NOW (AICC’s new streaming website): AICC NOW brings all of AICC’s videos and online content to one easy-to-navigate location. You can now access AICC’s vast media offerings, which include the Packaging University, webinars, podcasts, Ask the Experts, white papers, and more. Visit for more information.
  • Breaking Down Boxes podcast: Listen to Gene Marino and Joe Morelli converse with entrepreneurs in the independent packaging space. AICC members tell their compelling stories and the lessons they have learned along the way. Listen to past episodes anytime; new episodes are released the first Monday of every month. Tune in to hear what takeaways and valuable insights the podcast and our fellow AICC members have to offer.

So, as we slow down a bit, take advantage of this time and share this knowledge with your employees. As I like to say, “Better Minds, Better Boxes.” Invest in your company’s future through education.

Cheers to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2023!


Jana Harris

CEO and Co-owner, Harris Packaging and American Carton Co.

AICC Chair