Friday, May 17th, 2013
Earlier today, May 17, 2013, Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Dermody (D-33), the Democratic Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, met with the management and employees at the Harwick, PA facility of Watson Standard, a leading supplier of coatings and adhesives and member of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association.
Top managers gave Rep. Dermody an organized tour of the plant’s manufacturing area, helping him learn about the physical production processes, as well as the overall business of the company. Plant visits such as this are organized regularly with the support of the Government and Industry Affairs specialists at SPI in order to familiarize legislators with actual operations of companies in America’s diverse plastics business, the third largest sector of American manufacturing.
Among those meeting with Rep. Dermody were Jim Lore, President of Watson Standard, Jeff Matty, VP of regulatory affairs, and Wes Horton, director of manufacturing. Watson Standard, which was founded in 1902 is a privately held specialty chemical coating and adhesives supplier with its headquarters in Pittsburgh, about 10 miles southwest of the Harwick manufacturing facility.
Certified to the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard, WS focuses on application-based, customer-specific conventional and energy-curable coatings and adhesives for a broad range of applications encompassing rigid, flexible, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, confectionery, and general industrial packaging. Besides its American home market, the company has a global sales and distribution that includes Central and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
The communication that takes place both during and after plant visits such as Rep. Dermody’s today is invaluable to both sides. Legislators are tasked with creating laws and regulations that directly impact all the manufacturing sectors. It therefore is important that they know as much as possible about actual manufacturing operations, and equally important that manufacturers are able to have input into the government actions that will affect their businesses going forward.
Recognizing this, SPI facilitates plant visits for its member companies, many of which have taken advantage of the opportunity. Further, SPI for some time sponsored “fly-ins” that bring leaders of plastics sector businesses to Washington, D.C. for meetings directly with their legislators and staffers.
The next SPI Fly-In is set for July 24, 2013, but this time it’s not just SPI members coming in. Seven other plastics-related associations are joining in, including: American Chemistry Council, American Composites Manufacturers Association, International Association of Plastics Distribution, Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association, Plastic Pipe Institute, Vinyl Institute, and Western Plastics Association. More Fly-In information here.