Best Places spotlight: PPG Industries emphasizes teamwork and innovation

Staffers stick around for the varied projects and career opportunities at the No. 52-ranked company on our 2013 Best Places to Work in IT list.

PPG Industries made a strong impression on Kazie Reuschel when she worked there as a college intern in 2011. So strong, in fact, that in 2012 she chose to forgo opportunities at a Silicon Valley tech giant to stay with the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer as a full-time employee.

IT staffers at PPG Industries
IT staffers Justina Parker and Kazie Reuschel. Credit: Larry O'Reilly / PPG Industries.

"I [found] a place where I could get technology and innovation experience but where I could still work on teams and voice my opinions," says Reuschel, a programmer/analyst who works on mobile apps, Internet apps and PPG's website.

Indeed, the company prides itself on its focus on innovation, career opportunities and employee development, an area in which it ranks No. 2 among Computerworld's 100 Best Places to Work in IT.

"There's plenty of room for growth, and there's always a challenge -- it's not the same work day in and day out," adds Justina Parker, an analyst who has moved up through several positions during her 12-year tenure. She has traveled around the world for work, returning to Pittsburgh last fall after spending five years in Europe.

Werner Baer, PPG's vice president of IT, says his department currently has more projects and funding than ever before, which means his workers have plenty of challenges. He's confident that his staffers can handily meet those challenges with the support of strong teams built through collaboration and training.

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