PPG bringing 500 jobs to Cranberry Woods

| Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Cranberry's location helped seal the deal when PPG Industries was looking for a spot for 500 jobs.

“Cranberry is uniquely positioned,” said Bryan Iams, PPG vice president for corporate and government affairs, saying that Cranberry isn't far from company holdings in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, including Harmar. “That was one of the leading factors for the decision.”

He cited the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-79, both of which run through Cranberry, as assets.

PPG Industries will consolidate more than 300 jobs from three states and another 200 from Western Pennsylvania locations over time into a headquarters it will establish in the Cranberry Woods business park for its North American architectural coating business.

The company will move finance, information technology, marketing and administrative jobs, subletting 120,000 square feet of office space from Westinghouse.

The move will help broaden the township's economic base, a township leader said.

“It's all about diversifying our employees,” Manager Jerry Andree said. “This will be a very nice addition to our business community.”

The Cranberry Woods business park houses about 4,000 employees of Westinghouse Electric Co. and 900 for Mine Safety Appliances, along with several other businesses and the Regional Learning Alliance Center.

Iams said PPG had been meeting with Andree and Ken Raybuck, director of Butler County's Community Development Corp., as the company was determining whether to consolidate in Western Pennsylvania or Northeast Ohio.

“Cranberry provides all the amenities,” Iams said. “It's really nice to see around an office location, you have restaurants, hotels, meeting space, access to highways.”

He added there are “good housing opportunities” in the Cranberry area for the nearly 300 out-of-state employees who could move here. PPG will move architectural coatings jobs from Louisville, Ky.; Dover, Del.; and Strongsville, Ohio.

Manufacturing is the biggest industry in Cranberry, at about 19 percent of the total market, according to 2010 North American Industry Classification System statistics. Retail trade was second at about 16.5 percent, and accommodations and food services third at just over 13 percent.

PPG's coatings business, which makes Glidden, Pittsburgh Paints, Liquid Nails and other household brands, combines the company's unit that makes paint with similar operations the company bought in April from AkzoNobel N.V. for $1.05 billion.

The state offered nearly $4 million in economic incentives to PPG in the form of a $1.25 million grant, $618,000 in job creation tax credits, a $42,750 job grant and a $2 million loan to be repaid within 15 years.

Andree and Iams said PPG isn't getting local tax breaks for the move, which is expected to cost the company $14 million.

PPG's arrival will help blunt the loss of 200 jobs Westinghouse eliminated this year in a companywide cost-cutting move, Andree said.

Westinghouse still employs about 4,000 in the business park and more than 5,000 in Western Pennsylvania, company spokesman Vaughn Gilbert said.

Gilbert and Iams would not disclose how much PPG will pay Westinghouse to sublet the space.

Iams said PPG hopes to have operations in Cranberry within the next 12 to 18 months.

“This validates why we did that park,” Andree said. “If the park wasn't there, there wouldn't have been a competition.”

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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