We recently partnered with the Lucas Group, a recruiting agency that specializes in hiring military veterans, to help attract new local talent.
Lucas Group helped connect Essity with Jesse Davidson, a retired military veteran with 23 years serving in the U.S. Navy. Essity hired Davidson just over a month ago as Logistics Team Lead at its converting facility in Greenwich, where the company takes parent reels of paper and converts them into the Tork® brand of professional hygiene products such as napkins and paper towels—for industries such as restaurants, healthcare, hotels and more.
Davidson is not only new to Essity, but he is also new to the papermaking industry. In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, we interviewed Jesse Davidson about his military career and how the skills he has learned in the Navy translate to his new role at Essity.
Jesse, why did you join the military? I wanted to serve my country and see the world. Also, both of my parents served in the Army in Germany, where I was born. They retired from the Army Reserves about five years ago.
What made you choose to serve in the Navy? I chose the Navy because of the Nuclear Program and the ability to travel. I have always been a technical person and love being challenged. The Navy Nuclear Program is one of the most challenging programs the military offers. Also, as the old saying goes, “Join the Navy, See the World.”
Did you really get to “See the World”? Yes, I was fortunate enough to have circumnavigated the world: I completed five Western Pacific deployments and four deployments to the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea—then passed through the Suez Canal and then to United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. I was stationed in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut, Hawaii and Guam.
What was the most impactful experience or a military accomplishment that you are most proud of or recall fondly? The day I was commissioned from an Enlisted Sailor to a Naval Officer. This was a major milestone in my career and had a huge impact on the trajectory of my life.
You recently started a job at Essity’s converting facility in Greenwich. What is your current role and job duties? I’m a Logistics Team Lead, which means I provide daily goal setting for my team, track inventory levels to fulfill internal and external customer needs; help ensure the safety of our employees and the warehouse; and work closely with planners and customer service representatives to maximize the efficiency of our processes.
How does your military service and experiences affect how you approach your job and work ethic at Essity? The Navy Nuclear Program taught me to have very high standards, including the importance of cleanliness, training and safety. I translate these standards to the everyday business of moving and shipping Tork paper products for Essity. I believe it’s my responsibility to ensure my team has the tools necessary to succeed and stay safe, such as supplying them with proper knowledge of equipment operation, and continually seeking smarter and more efficient ways to accomplish our work.
Are there any key skills that you learned in the military that cross over to your current job? Yes, my operations and maintenance skills for some of the equipment I will oversee. And most importantly, my leadership and management skills—I learned in the military that if you take care of your people and give them tools for success, they will be happy and productive.
What was Lucas Group’s role in helping you get this job? Lucas Group got me in contact with Essity and then helped to coordinate interviews. They helped me to understand the process and made sure I knew what would be expected throughout the entire hiring process.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far about the papermaking industry? I’ve never worked in logistics, so this has been a completely new learning experience for me. I never realized the amount of effort and coordination it takes to get these paper products from manufacturing to the customer.
Greg Milligan, Jesse's manager, said that Jesse has made a positive impact in his short time at Essity. "In the time I have known Jesse, two of his strengths have stood out: his enthusiasm and his attention to detail," said Milligan, Factory Logistics Manager for South Glens Falls and Greenwich, New York. "Jesse has approached learning his new role with enthusiasm and very quickly he's been able to handle everything we have asked of him. And his attention to detail has already helped at our Saratoga Distribution Center—Jesse noticed that we were struggling with our air compressors. In short order, he developed a cost effective solution that will help resolve our current issues."
We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the Lucas Group and hiring more Veterans through their services in the future.