Business Spotlight: PPG


For decades, the City of Oak Creek has been known for its industrial and manufacturing businesses, with interests ranging from engineering to automotive, agriculture to food and beverages and electronics industries. One of these leading Oak Creek businesses is PPG, a manufacturing company located on South 13th Street.

PPG’s rich corporate history dates back to 1883 when it was founded near Pittsburgh as the “Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.” In 1900, the company entered the coatings industry by acquiring the Patton Paint Co., which had a plant near downtown Milwaukee in what is now the Historic Third Ward. The company became “PPG Industries” in 1968, reflecting its business diversification and increasingly global presence. Then, in 2016, the company divested its flat glass business, and it now goes by the “PPG” name.

The PPG Oak Creek plant is part of PPG’s Industrial Coatings segment and thereby produces coatings for the company’s industrial, automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and packaging coatings businesses. PPG coatings help its manufacturing customers enhance, protect and beautify everything from golf balls to food cans to heavy-duty equipment to motorcycles.

Through dedication and creativity, PPG solves its customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, Penn., PPG operates and innovates in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.8 billion in 2016. PPG serves customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. The business includes three reporting segments: Performance Coatings, Industrial Coatings and Glass.

PPG has operated in Greater Milwaukee for more than 100 years. The plant in Oak Creek opened 42 years ago and today has 500 permanent employees, 68 of whom are Oak Creek residents. The Midwest in general and Greater Milwaukee specifically are home to many Fortune 500 manufacturing companies (PPG is ranked #182 on the Fortune 500 list), such as Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls and Rockwell Automation. Being located in Oak Creek therefore situates PPG well to serve many industrial customers, offering good transportation and logistics options.

PPG works every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that its customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Its vision is to be the world’s leading coatings company by consistently delivering high-quality, innovative and sustainable solutions that customers trust to protect and beautify their products and surroundings. Consider the products you use every day that require some type of “coating” and most likely a PPG product was part of its manufacturing process. From the paint on your walls, to the lenses in your eyeglasses, to the finish on your car, PPG is dedicated to making the world a better and more beautiful place.

PPG has probably touched everyone’s lives in the City, without us even knowing. And what an impact this company has made, not only for Oak Creek but for dozens of countries worldwide, with its fascinating collection of products. According to Regional Plant Manager Jack Marshall, “PPG is a great company, from our ethical business practices to our hard-working employees. With more than 100 years of experience manufacturing paints and coatings, we can offer customers a wide array of reliable products backed by extensive industry expertise,” he says.

Community engagement plays an integral role in PPG’s business philosophy. PPG and its PPG Foundation support many organizations, schools and projects in both Oak Creek and Greater Milwaukee. Local PPG employees help support schools where they have an interest through the foundation’s Innovative Classroom Grants. Each of these grants provides up to $1,000 for hands-on activities and teaching materials related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning in grades K-12, benefiting both students and teachers.

Other PPG Foundation grants have helped the Knights Construction program at Oak Creek High School (OCHS), where students build residential homes from groundbreaking to completion, and the OCHS Roundtable Robotics team. In addition, PPG has established community partnerships with the Betty Brinn Museum, Discovery World and the Milwaukee Zoo to facilitate unique learning opportunities for local students and visitors.

In 2016, PPG also provided paint, materials and volunteers through its COLORFUL COMMUNITIES™ initiative to beautify the exterior of Oak Creek’s iconic American Legion Hall Post 434. And its most recent local community partnership is with All Hands Boatworks, a Milwaukee non-profit organization helping to inspire youth through a teamwork opportunity building wooden boats. After completion, participants row their boats on local rivers for an amazing educational and outdoors-focused experience.

“At the Oak Creek plant and in general, PPG focuses on ‘three Cs:’ customers, co-workers and community,” adds Marshall. “We collaborate with customers to innovate the best solutions for protecting and beautifying their products and properties; we respect our employees and encourage their personal growth; and we partner with our communities to benefit our families and neighbors,” he explains. “Overall, our positive culture and results-oriented nature make PPG a good and stable corporate citizen in towns like Oak Creek where we operate, and we continue to see a bright future here.”

“As Oak Creek continues to exhibit growth and increased vibrancy, it’s a great location for recruiting employees from nearby cities,” says Marshall. “The City has a strong commitment to its schools and community, and we look forward to seeing how Mayor Scaffidi realizes his promise of more to come.”

As a vital community partner, many thanks to PPG and its commitment to the City of Oak Creek.

PPG • 10800 S. 13th St., Oak Creek • 414-764-6000