Friday, August 29, 2014

Anyone heard anything about PPG?

Courtesy of ACC Smartbrief, I see the Pittsburgh Business Times says that PPG is expanding/hiring?: 
...Beyond the Allison Park facility and the company's namesake headquarters located in downtown Pittsburgh, PPG operates additional research centers in Springdale, Monroeville and Harmar, as well as the company's newly established Architectural Coatings North American Headquarters in Cranberry Township. 
Kahle said PPG is adding over 300 technical and non-technical jobs to Pennsylvania in 2014, which includes relocating some employees from Strongsville, Ohio to the new Cranberry facility. In the last three years PPG has hired about 160 new employees to fill technical positions, he said. 
All of the company's labs in Pittsburgh will be approaching 95 percent utilization in the next year and the company is discussing its options for the future. 
"From a technology point of view, I can't imagine a more exciting time," he said. "And that excitement is reflected in our sales." PPG had $15 billion in sales in 2013, up 12 percent from the previous year. Increased sales have also led to an increase in research and development investment, with the company spending $550 million last year on research efforts.
I feel like PPG has been quietly expanding since ~2010 or so, but I don't really track them, other than they seem to be one of the few companies hiring chemists in the Pittsburgh area. My sense is that they put out about one or two entry-level Ph.D. inorganic/organometallic ads a year? Anyone have a better sense? 


  1. Simple - PPG is growing because they and a few other big players are buying up and closing all of the remaining regional paint makers in America. A net loss for chemist employment.

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  3. PPG just bought an organic photovoltaics start-up company in Pittsburgh that was (already) going out of business, Plextronics. They have also been advertising a position for an NMR spectroscopist for a long time.

    The thing that really annoys me about PPG is that they ARE recruiting, but 95% of the time, it is only for new PhD graduates. And they limit their recruitment to select universities. For example:

    I said WTF, I will apply in any case, and in the cover letter, told them that I was just as good as someone who just received their doctorate (in polite terms). Of course, I never heard back from them.

    1. Actually it was Solvay that bought Plextronics. PPG is mostly interested in BS & MS level permatemp contractors (no bennies = creating value!) and formulators at the PhD level.

    2. I stand corrected! I also check the HR website of Solvay, but have not yet seen any openings in that field. They might just be recruiting quasi-internally from their academic buddies at Carnige-Mellon for such openings.

      BTW, just today I noticed a job opening for an organic chemist in Georgia with the same company. Unfortunately (for me, maybe not for you) they require 2 years of experience in process chemistry.

  4. I heard a rumor that their starting salary for new PhD's was about 20k lower than other large companies. This was about 2 years ago, however. Not sure how it compares now.