NATRIUM, W.Va. - In four of the past five years, Mark Hayes, machine shop and ANSI pump shop maintenance supervisor at PPG Industries' chemicals manufacturing facility in Natrium, W.Va., traveled to Vietnam to help nonprofit organization Free Wheelchair Mission provide wheelchairs and much-needed mobility to handicapped people there.
Through a PPG Industries Foundation employee program called Grant Incentives for Volunteerism by PPG Employees and Retirees (GIVE), Hayes has garnered $500 a year since 2010 to support Free Wheelchair Mission, which collects funds, purchases parts and assembles wheelchairs at a cost of about $60 per chair, and then delivers them all over the world. These grants recognize Hayes's service as a Free Wheelchair Mission volunteer; he funded his Vietnam trips himself.
Through the PPG Industries Foundation's GIVE program, Hayes and many other PPG Natrium employees and retirees helped obtain $70,000 in grants last year and $29,000 in grants so far in 2012 for local organizations they actively serve. The program recognizes employee and retiree volunteer efforts with annual grants of $500 for an ongoing volunteer relationship or $1,000 for serving on an organization's board of directors.
PPG Natrium employees obtained 114 grants in 2011 and 43 grants so far this year to support eligible local organizations with which they work, such as Free Wheelchair Mission, schools and school groups, community athletics groups, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, volunteer fire departments and firefighters' organizations, and groups such as:
"PPG is strongly committed to supporting the communities where it operates," said Jim Rock, plant manager for PPG Natrium.
"Mark Hayes is an exceptional person who has donated a tremendous amount of time and money to a very worthy cause.
We are proud of him and all the PPG employees and retirees who actively assist nonprofit organizations and participate in the GIVE program to provide financial support where they have an interest.
"It's a great opportunity for us to give back to the community in ways that are personally significant to our people."
Established in 1951, the PPG Industries Foundation demonstrates the values of PPG Industries by enhancing the quality of life in communities where the company has a presence.
Interests of the foundation, in order of priority, are education, human services, culture and arts, and civic and community affairs. PPG also supports charitable causes by encouraging employees' volunteerism and board service with nonprofit organizations.
For more information, visit www.ppgfoundation.com.
PPG Industries' vision is to continue to be the world's leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.
Helping local pools
PPG Industries has been assisting local municipal swimming pools by providing free chemicals and other assistance in order to help the facilities remain open in these difficult economic times.
In particular, the Shadyside Village Pool has received free chemicals the last two summers and also an updated filtration system, free of charge.
"This is our second year doing this for Shadyside and we've also been helping out other pools up and down the valley," said Mike Hoops, the business manager for calcium hypochlorite products at PPG. "This isn't a one or two year committment. We're in this for the long haul.
"A lot of our employees at the Natrium plant live up and down the river and in these tough economic times, we wanted to assist in whatever way we could."
Both pool manager Melanie Haswell and Tim Merryman, a councilman with the village, thanked PPG for their assistance, which has been crucial in the battle to keep Shadyside's pool open the last two years after not opening the summer of 2010.