Second time around Featured

12:07pm EDT November 28, 2005
PPG Industries Inc. is no stranger to giving. In fact, as an honoree last year, the Barberton plant is no stranger to the Pillar Award for Community Service.

But there’s been no slacking among PPG’s employees in the past year, says plant manager Richard Bauer. Instead, workers were motivated to do more.

When they’re not manufacturing the optical materials, designed silicas or fine chemicals found in products such as corrective lenses, automotive tires and store loyalty cards, many employees can be found volunteering as tutors and mentors at Highland Middle School or supporting dozens of other community projects and organizations.

Bauer says supporting education is particularly important to him and his team at PPG, a claim made credible by the two $6,000 scholarships PPG awarded to Barberton-area seniors last spring and the thousands of dollars it has donated to Highland’s reading, physical education and after-school sports programs.

The plant also takes an interest in promoting science and technology among area students. By sponsoring the University of Akron’s Women in Engineering summer camp for seventh- and eighth-grade girls, PPG hopes to encourage careers in science and engineering and dispel myths that these are male-dominated fields, says Bauer.

PPG’s generosity also extends into the surrounding communities. In April, the company entered into a long-term lease agreement with Metro Parks Serving Summit County to construct a bike and hike trail on four miles of PPG land that it provided to Metro Parks at no cost.

Corporate contributions also were made to United Way of Summit County, NEOUCOM Foundation, Ronald McDonald House of Akron and local public libraries, to name a few.

PPG and its employees even look to aid the environment. This summer marked the 20th anniversary of the Lime Lake Reclamation Project, a voluntary initiative to reclaim land once used to support former manufacturing operations at the facility. PPG’s goal has been to create green space where there was formerly a barren waste site. The program is entirely funded by PPG and has the support of the Ohio EPA and the local community. HOW TO REACH: PPG Industries Inc., (330) 825-0831, or