PPG brings 200 employees to Cranberry

| Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7:06 p.m.

PPG Industries has moved about 200 employees to the Cranberry Woods business park and will add hundreds more by the end of the year.

“We're expanding and growing in this region, and that's a great development for PPG and the region,” said Bryan Iams, PPG's vice president for corporate and government affairs.

For Cranberry, it's an economic balancing act, as most of the 600 people employed at the Verizon call center in the business park wrapped up their jobs May 8.

About 50 will remain until September, said Erica Sevilla, senior public relations consultant for Verizon's Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia region.

The company also cut 200 telesales employees and 230 in business and government account support at the nearby Thorn Hill Industrial Park in Marshall. Three hundred forty executive employees will remain in Thorn Hill.

Sevilla could not say how many employees transferred to other call centers, to other retail positions or accepted a severance package and left the company.

“We wanted to retain as many employees as possible. There was a lot of effort internally to get the employees transferred,” Sevilla said. “It's a priority for us.”

The company has sponsored a job fair for departing employees and two six-hour sessions to teach them job-hunting skills. Other areas in the company, including retail, also spoke to them about job opportunities, Sevilla said.

“This was a realignment to fill empty seats that we had at other call centers throughout the country,” Sevilla said.

PPG last year announced it was consolidating some operations in Cranberry and subletting a building in Cranberry Woods rented by Westinghouse.

PPG will commemorate its move into the business park with a grand opening in September, Iams said, even as employees continue to move in.

The company is moving more than 300 jobs from three states and another 200 from other Western Pennsylvania locations over time into a headquarters it will establish in Cranberry Woods for its North American architectural coating business.

The company is moving finance, information technology, marketing and administrative jobs to 120,000 square feet of office space it is subletting from Westinghouse. Employees in marketing, administrative, information technology, human resources, finance and sales are already in the space.

The company is working with the township on what kind of signs will go on the building.

PPG's coatings business, which makes Glidden, Pittsburgh Paints, Liquid Nails and other household brands, is integrating similar operations the company bought last year 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 to entice it to Cranberry.

Cranberry Woods houses thousands of employees from companies including Westinghouse and Mine Safety Appliances.

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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