The FirstEnergy region encompasses a wide range of mutually supportive rubber and polymer entities, from companies that research and manufacture formulations and materials, to companies that mold parts and products for food products, automotive products, medical devices and consumer goods. States in the First Energy region are among the top producers in the nation for synthetic rubber and customer compounding, as well as plastic profile shapes, laminated plastics, plastic bottles and all other shapes. Ohio is the No. 1 state for tire retreading, rubber and plastic hoses and belting, and many other rubber categories.
Sitting over the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, the FirstEnergy region is abundant in natural gas and the derivative products that feed the polymer industry. To take advantage of the local natural gas supply, Shell Oil is building a $6 billion ethane cracker in southwestern Pennsylvania. Excellent highways, railways, waterways and international ports in the FirstEnergy region provide ready access to leading markets. Two of only five accredited academic programs in plastics engineering in the U.S. are in Pennsylvania: Penn State Behrend Campus and Pennsylvania College’s Plastics Innovation & Resource Center (PIRC).