In October 2022, aluminum and aluminum recycler Novelis kicked off construction in Bay Minette, Alabama, on its new $2.5 billion recycling and rolling plant. It’s a huge leap forward for Novelis as the plant is expected to create up to one thousand new jobs and add six hundred thousand annual tons of finished aluminum goods to the beverage container market. It will also create a more demanding market for its recycling center, one which will increase the company’s recycling capabilities up to ninety billion used cans per year.
It’s the jobs, not necessarily the cans, where Jessica Derrick does her best work. The senior benefits manager has been at Atlanta-based Novelis since 2016.
Derrick stepped into her role at a pivotal time for Novelis’ HR department. There was a high demand for processes to be streamlined and for health and retirement plans to undergo significant evolution from design, administration, and compliance perspectives.
The HR pro took the challenge head on, bolstered by a curiosity that she says is imperative to being effective in the benefits space.
In her role, Derrick continuously challenges herself to find new and innovative ways to build sustainable and holistic benefits programs that continue to meet the needs of a workforce that is multigenerational and incredibly diverse.
With Novelis’ continuing global expansion, Derrick is in the early stages of building out a global strategy that will improve its compliance process and unify a company whose footprint is growing by leaps and bounds. Derrick says the culture at Novelis is incredibly strong, with a strong emphasis on safety and transparency that is built into the fabric of the organization.
Given her experience managing and designing health, wellness, and retirement programs, Derrick is the right person for the job.
Along with the new builds, Derrick also helped handle companies coming under the Novelis banner in 2020, when the company acquired global rolled aluminum company Aleris.
“The Aleris deal marks a major milestone for Novelis on its path to global leadership,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Novelis in a statement after the acquisition. “The closure of this deal amidst challenging market conditions reflects our conviction in the Aleris business and its value to our metals portfolio.”
That business includes thirteen plants across North America, Europe, and Asia. As Derrick continues to build out global strategy, there’s no doubt she’s as equally invested as those who will be coming to the company as part of the new build in Alabama. While the plant and recycling center should be completed in 2025, the positive change is perhaps already being felt in Bay Minette, whose population in 2010 was just 8,044.
Regardless of if it’s Asia or Alabama, Derrick will be there, unifying employees under the Novelis banner and continuing to build on a strong culture. Derrick’s passion for her people is clear. There are just about to be a whole lot more of them.
Anthem is dedicated to improving whole health for individuals and communities by addressing physical, behavioral, social, and pharmacy needs. We put the people we serve at the center of all we do to exceed expectations and optimize health outcomes. Our use of digital technologies improves efficiency and experiences, converts data into insights, and connects stakeholders across the health ecosystem. Anthem is proud to partner with Jessica Derrick and Novelis to transform healthcare through innovation, sustainability, and community engagement. Together, we are working to reduce healthcare disparities and create a healthier, more equitable future.
Novelis is driven by its purpose to shape a sustainable world together. Everything they do begins with their commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of their colleagues, customers and communities. Gallagher is proud to partner with Jessica Derrick and the Novelis team to create strategic, customized, and sustainable employee benefits programs that align with their business strategies and objectives. Congratulations for being recognized as an American Healthcare Leader! The impact of your leadership and commitment to excellence in employee benefits is truly inspiring. Your leadership has elevated the standard of employee benefits in the industry and is a testament to your strategic planning and unwavering focus on delivering value.