PPG's Future Is Clear To Analysts

The Depression gripped the nation when Michael Cook, the son of a Polish immigrant, started working in 1933 at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.'s plant in Ford City, Armstrong County.

"You came from Europe, you came over here to work," said Cook, 96, who staffed PPG's warehouse and played third base for the company baseball team while his father ground and polished glass on assembly lines as long as city blocks.

"It was the best (job) I could get at that time. But it was a good place to work."

After Cook retired 35 years ago, the Ford City native watched the century-old plant five blocks from his home fade away one pink slip at a time. PPG shuttered it a decade ago.

It's mostly old people now in this place, mostly old people, most of them retired from (the PPG plant)," he said.

"They always assumed the plant would go for a long time," said John Kozlosky, 86, of Ford City. "The town is like a dead old town. There's not much going on here."

PPG now is sending signals it could shed even more holdings from the industry on which it was built.

When PPG announced its fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 18, Chief Financial Officer William Hernandez said the Pittsburgh-based industrial giant had enlisted outside advisers to aggressively explore alternatives for

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